240 pages, Illus
Explores the relationship between automobiles and national parks, and how together they have shaped our ideas of wilderness. This book argues that National parks did not develop as places set aside from the modern world, but rather came to be known and appreciated through technological progress in the form of cars and roads.
At its heart this book raises important questions about wilderness, democracy, and consumption: Is wilderness possible in a democratic consumer society that demands widespread public access? Western Historical Quarterly "This is a fine, thoughtful book, one that connects the reader to familiar experiences in provocative ways. Excellent maps and photographs provide a means of relating the narrative to park landscapes. Louter demonstrates a thorough command of the relevant literature." Pacific Northwest Quarterly "A fascinating story of how the National Park Service managed to accommodate changing and contradictory ideas about the ideal relationship between nature and cars." Technology and Culture "Louter reminds us of the contingency and complexity of 'wilderness,' and moves us beyond the simplistic 'frontier Eden' critiques which have limited our understanding of this surprisingly malleable concept." Journal of the West "Windshield Wilderness...is well-documented and includes an excellent bibliography... Anyone interested in the literature of the United States' conservation movement will profit from reading this book." Columbia "Scholars will certainly benefit from the precision of Louter's discussions, and readers interested in the intersection between bureaucracy, environment, and wilderness advocacy will find this book invaluable." Oregon Historical Quarterly "What Windshield Wilderness has to say about the changing role of automobiles in the twentieth-century American experience of wild nature will be of interest to anyone who cares not just about the three parks whose histories it explores-Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades-but parks and wild places all across the nation." from the Foreword by William Cronon "In this compelling book David Louter takes a seeming oxymoron-a windshield wilderness, a wild area seen from a car on an expensive and carefully engineered road-and uses it as an avenue for understanding the evolution of national parks." Richard White, Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, Stanford University "David Louter's Windshield Wilderness considerably advances our understanding of the relationship between the coming of modernity in the shape of the automobile and the idea of wilderness. Gracefully crafted and exquisitely argued, it is a marvelous addition to the literature of Western, environmental, and national park history." Hal Rothman, Distinguished Professor of History, University of Nevada at Las Vegas "Windshield Wilderness tackles an issue of great significance, both in terms of historical inquiry and contemporary public policy. If adopted by managers of reserves, its ideas and proposals could influence the direction of current park policy." Peter Blodgett, Curator of Western Historical Manuscripts, Huntington Library "David Louter is the beginning of a new generation of national park historians. His lively style draws me from page to page." John Reynolds, former Deputy Director, National Park Service
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