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The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

Paperback

By (author) Timothy Egan

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  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 201mm x 23mm | 340g
  • Publication date: 25 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: Boston
  • ISBN 10: 0547394608
  • ISBN 13: 9780547394602
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 8 pages b/w photos
  • Sales rank: 265,799

Product description

On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men - college boys, day workers, immigrants from mining camps - to fight the fire. But no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force. Equally dramatic is the larger story he tells of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citizen.

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Review quote

"Egan brings a touching humanity to this story of valour and cowardice in the face of a national catastrophe, paying respectful attention to Roosevelt's great dream of conservation and of an America 'for the little man.'" -Publishers Weekly, starred review"