Rightful Heritage
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Rightful Heritage : Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America

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The acclaimed, award-winning historian-"America's new past master" (Chicago Tribune)-examines the environmental legacy of FDR and the New Deal. Douglas Brinkley's The Wilderness Warrior celebrated Theodore Roosevelt's spirit of outdoor exploration and bold vision to protect 234 million acres of wild America. Now, in Rightful Heritage, Brinkley turns his attention to the other indefatigable environmental leader-Teddy's distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, chronicling his essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and premier protector of America's public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. Pristine landscapes such as the Great Smokies, the Everglades, Joshua Tree, the Olympics, Big Bend, Channel Islands, Mammoth Cave, and the slickrock wilderness of Utah were forever saved by his leadership. Brinkley traces FDR's love for the natural world from his youth exploring the Hudson River Valley and bird watching.
As America's president from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt-consummate political strategist-established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern endangered species movement. He brilliantly positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. During its nine-year existence, the CCC put nearly three million young men to work on conservation projects-including building trails in the national parks, pollution control, land restoration to combat the Dust Bowl, and planting over two billion trees. Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR's unrivaled passion and drive, and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature-exploiting our natural resources and conserving them. Within the narrative are brilliant capsule biographies of such environmental warriors as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes, and Rosalie Edge. Rightful Heritage is essential reading for everyone seeking to preserve our treasured landscapes as an American birthright.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 768 pages
  • 165 x 232 x 45mm | 1,025g
  • Harper
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062089234
  • 9780062089236
  • 2,122,468

Back cover copy

Douglas Brinkley's The Wilderness Warrior celebrated Theodore Roosevelt's spirit of outdoor exploration and bold vision to protect 234 million acres of wild America. Now, in Rightful Heritage, Brinkley turns his attention to another indefatigable environmental leader--Theodore's distant cousin Franklin Delano Roosevelt--chronicling his essential yet undersung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the premier protector of America's public lands. FDR built state park systems and scenic roadways from scratch. Through his leadership, pristine landscapes such as the Great Smokies, the Everglades, Joshua Tree, the Olympics, Big Bend, and the Channel Islands were forever saved.

Brinkley traces FDR's love for the natural world back to his youth spent exploring the Hudson River Valley and bird-watching. Forestry would soon become a consuming passion. When asked his occupation, FDR would invariably reply, "Tree grower." As America's president from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt, a consummate political strategist, established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern movement to protect endangered species. He deftly positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. During its seven-year existence, the CCC put nearly three million young men to work on conservation projects--including planting trees, national park preservation, pollution control, and grasslands restoration.

Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR's unrivaled passion and drive and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature--exploiting our natural resources and conserving them. Within the narrative are brilliant capsule biographies of such environmental warriors as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes, and Aldo Leopold. Rightful Heritage is essential reading for everyone interested in our treasured landscapes and historic sites as American birthrights.
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Review quote

Rightful Heritage is an irresistibly powerful and beautiful tale of America's fraught love affair with its land, told by one of our most gifted historians. Brinkley follows FDR on an astonishing journey that, despite war, depression, and political infighting, somehow preserved what is most precious to us.--Candice Millard Stunningly researched and compellingly written, Rightful Heritage tells the story of FDR's love affair with the American wilderness. In our search for compassionate and clear-headed leaders to guide us through the environmental crisis, Brinkley's vividly detailed account of Roosevelt's pioneering preservationism serves as a much-needed beacon and bible.--Megan Marshall With this engaging book, Brinkley recovers one of FDR's long-overlooked legacies: stewardship of America's natural resources. This is a vivid history of an important subject. We are lucky that Brinkley has turned his attention to the Roosevelt we do not generally associate with the preservation of our environment.--Jon Meacham Following his definitive look at Teddy Roosevelt's passion for wilderness conservation, Brinkley now brings us a colorful, exciting narrative of how his cousin FDR carried on the cause. Brinkley gives us a wonderful, timely new perspective on FDR; his wife, Eleanor; and the dedicated environmentalists around them.--Walter Isaacson A marvelous book; one of Brinkley's very best. FDR's conservation achievements helped preserve the nation's natural bounty and made it accessible to citizens as never before. By telling this grand story so well, Brinkley provokes readers to appreciate how the national government can perform wonders of its own.--Sean Wilentz Douglas Brinkley is America's most distinguished student of our nation's environmental history. Rightful Heritage is a landmark achievement. The fullest and most compelling study of FDR's extraordinary role in perpetuating our natural treasures, it is a must read for anyone interested in the environment--Robert Dallek "[Douglas] Brinkley is one of the nation's most acclaimed and popular historians [and] Rightful Heritage is a big book about a pivotal time in American history. Brinkley writes admiringly of Roosevelt's record, but his tone is backed up by a rich trove of research."--USA Today (four stars) "High-spirited and admirably thorough."--Washington Post "Enjoyably exhaustive."--New York Times Book Review
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About Douglas Brinkley

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, CBS News Historian, and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. The Chicago Tribune has dubbed him "America's new past master." Seven of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Cronkite won the Sperber Prize for Best Book in Journalism and was a Washington Post Notable Book of the Year 2012. The Great Deluge won the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He lives in Texas with his wife and three children. Brinkley has been awarded honorary doctorates from Trinity College (Connecticut), University of Maine, Hofstra University, and Allegheny College, among many others.
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Rating details

257 ratings
4.27 out of 5 stars
5 47% (122)
4 36% (92)
3 14% (36)
2 2% (6)
1 0% (1)
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