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The big burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America

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In THE WORST HARD TIME, Timothy Egan put the environmental disaster of the Dust Bowl at the center of a rich history, told through characters he brought to indelible life. Now he performs the same alchemy with the Big Burn, the largest-ever forest fire in America and the tragedy that cemented Teddy Roosevelt's legacy in the land.

On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in an eyeblink. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men -- college boys, day-workers, immigrants from mining camps -- to fight the fires. 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, through the eyes of the people who lived it. Equally dramatic, though, 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 every citizen. The robber barons fought him and the rangers charged with protecting the reserves, but even as TR's national forests were smoldering they were saved: The heroism shown by those same rangers turned public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service with consequences felt in the fires of today.

THE BIG BURN tells an epic story, paints a moving portrait of the people who lived it, and offers a critical cautionary tale for our time.

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Grouped Work ID ff7801a0-89f7-defa-e4fb-776021f9969f
Full title big burn teddy roosevelt and the fire that saved america
Author egan timothy
Grouping Category book
Last Update 2018-05-21 22:53:12PM
Last Indexed 2018-05-20 23:39:03PM

Solr Details

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author Timothy Egan
author_display Egan, Timothy
available_at_school Hume-Fogg Magnet High
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display_description Narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire of August, 1910, and Teddy Roosevelt's pioneering conservation efforts that helped turn public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service with consequences felt in the fires of today.
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primary_isbn 9780618968411
publishDate 2009
record_details ils:CARL0000336444|Book|Books||English|Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,|2009.|x, 324 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 24 cm., overdrive:2d88e1d7-6353-43fe-9898-5049b927a068|eBook|eBook||English|Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|2009|
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subject_facet Conservationists -- United States -- Biography, Forest conservation -- United States -- History, Forest fires -- Idaho -- History, Forest fires -- Montana -- History, National parks and reserves -- United States -- History, Nature conservation -- United States -- History, Pinchot, Gifford, -- 1865-1946, Presidents -- United States -- Biography, Roosevelt, Theodore, -- 1858-1919, United States. -- National Park Service -- History
title_display The big burn : Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America
title_full The Big Burn Teddy Roosevelt & the Fire That Saved America, The big burn : Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America / Timothy Egan
title_short The big burn :
title_sub Teddy Roosevelt and the fire that saved America
topic_facet Conservationists, Forest conservation, Forest fires, History, National parks and reserves, Nature conservation, Nonfiction, Pinchot, Gifford, Presidents, Roosevelt, Theodore