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Theodore Roosevelt's scientific curiosity and love of the outdoors proved a defining force throughout his hectic life as a rancher and explorer, police commissioner and governor of New York, vice president and president of the United States. Conservation and natural history were parts of a whole for this driven, charismatic public servant, and Roosevelt approached the natural world with joy and a passionate engagement.
Drawing on an array of approaches – biographical, ecological and environmental, literary and political, Theodore Roosevelt: Naturalist in the Arena analyzes this energetic man's manifold encounters with the great outdoors. George Bird Grinnell, Gifford Pinchot, John Muir, and William Hornaday were among the many conservationists with whom Roosevelt corresponded, collaborated, hiked, and governed – and in turn, inspired.
Together, Roosevelt and his contemporaries developed a progressive argument for the conservation of natural resources as a way to construct a more democratic nation-state. This legacy also comes with some troubling domestic and global implications, as Roosevelt fused his call for the conservation of resources – natural and human, domestically and internationally – with a deep-seated conviction that some were more fit than others to control the world and define its future.
List of Illustrations
Char Miller and Clay S. Jenkinson
Part 1. Field Notes
1. Beauty and Tragedy in the Wilderness: The Naturalism of Theodore Roosevelt / Darrin Lunde
2. Theodore Roosevelt: “The Outdoor Man Who Writes” / Thomas Cullen Bailey and Katherine Joslin
3. “I So Declare It”: Roosevelt’s Love Affair with Birds / Duane G. Jundt
4. Urban Wild: Theodore Roosevelt’s Explorations of Rock Creek Park / Melanie Choukas-Bradley
Part 2. Outside Influences
5. “For Generations Yet Unborn”: George Bird Grinnell, Theodore Roosevelt, and the Early Conservation Movement / John F. Reiger
6. Play, Work, and Politics: The Remarkable Partnership of Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot / Char Miller
7. Friendship under Five Inches of Snow: Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite / Barb Rosenstock
8. The Cowboy, the Crusader, and the Salvation of the American Buffalo / Clay S. Jenkinson
Part 3. Natural Politics
9. Theodore Roosevelt, the West, and the New America / Elliott West
10. Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation: Looking Abroad / Ian Tyrrell
11. Memorializing Theodore Roosevelt: Si Monumentum Requiris, Circumspice / Clay S. Jenkinson
List of Contributors
Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and director of the Environmental Analysis Program at Pomona College. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including America’s Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands.
Clay S. Jenkinson is Theodore Roosevelt Humanities Scholar and the founder of the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University. He is the author of nine books, including The Character of Meriwether Lewis: Explorer in the Wilderness.
"This is a fine look at a complex man which brings attention to both his tragic demerits and valuable legacy."
– Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Char Miller and Clay Jenkinson have brought together a remarkable collection of smart essays that is compulsively readable and thought-provoking. It is a volume full of spritely writing and rich insights."
– Virginia Scharff, distinguished professor of history emerita, University of New Mexico
"A marvelous job of reminding the world why Theodore Roosevelt was America's first green president. All the essays included in this volume are first rate. A dazzling addition to Progressive Era and environmental history studies. Highly recommended!"
– Douglas Brinkley, Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history, Rice University