Book ID: CBB627185288

Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt's America (2015)


Long before people were “going green” and toting reusable bags, the Progressive generation of the early 1900s was calling for the conservation of resources, sustainable foresting practices, and restrictions on hunting. Industrial commodities such as wood, water, soil, coal, and oil, as well as improvements in human health and the protection of “nature” in an aesthetic sense, were collectively seen for the first time as central to the country’s economic well-being, moral integrity, and international power. One of the key drivers in the rise of the conservation movement was Theodore Roosevelt, who, even as he slaughtered animals as a hunter, fought to protect the country’s natural resources. In Crisis of the Wasteful Nation, Ian Tyrrell gives us a cohesive picture of Roosevelt’s engagement with the natural world along with a compelling portrait of how Americans used, wasted, and worried about natural resources in a time of burgeoning empire. Countering traditional narratives that cast conservation as a purely domestic issue, Tyrrell shows that the movement had global significance, playing a key role in domestic security and in defining American interests around the world. Tyrrell goes beyond Roosevelt to encompass other conservation advocates and policy makers, particularly those engaged with shaping the nation’s economic and social policies—policies built on an understanding of the importance of crucial natural resources. Crisis of the Wasteful Nation is a sweeping transnational work that blends environmental, economic, and imperial history into a cohesive tale of America’s fraught relationships with raw materials, other countries, and the animal kingdom.

Reviewed By

Review Kent Curtis (July 2017) Review of "Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt's America". Environmental History (pp. 564-565). unapi

Review Sarah T. Phillips (2016) Review of "Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt's America". Agricultural History (pp. 255-256). unapi

Review Robert Bruce Campbell (2016) Review of "Crisis of the Wasteful Nation: Empire and Conservation in Theodore Roosevelt's America". Journal of American History (pp. 1217-1218). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Blaufarb, Rafe
Gray, Edward
Jolles, Adam
Smith, Neil
Lovett, Laura L.
Westermann, Andrea
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Journal of the History of Biology
Ethics, Place and Environment
British Journal for the History of Mathematics
Scientia Canadensis: Journal of the History of Canadian Science, Technology, and Medicine
University of California Press
University of North Carolina Press
University of Pittsburgh Press
Cambridge University Press
Rutgers University Press
Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group
Conservation movement
Nature and its relationship to culture; human-nature relationships
Natural resources
Science and government
Science and politics
Roosevelt, Theodore
Bowman, Isaiah
Ross, Edward Alsworth
Grant, Madison
Goethe, Charles M.
Pinchot, Gifford
United States
Pennsylvania (U.S.)
Great Britain
20th century, early
19th century
20th century
Progressive Era (1890s-1920s)
20th century, late
18th century

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