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Conservation Reconsidered: Nature, Virtue, and American Liberal Democracy

Conservation Reconsidered: Nature, Virtue, and American Liberal Democracy (Hardback)

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The prominent contributors in Conservation Reconsidered establish a fundamentally original view of the conservation movement and the impact of public policy on nature. This collection of essays articulate the belief that the thinkers and actors who helped develop the conservation movement-notably John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot and Aldo Leopold-have been seriously misunderstood by scholars who have analyzed them in the context of contemporary environmental debates. Conservationism, the contributors argue, was a diverse movement dealing with difficult questions about the relationship of human beings to nature in a modern liberal democratic state. The essays place conservationism within the framework of 19th century American political thinkers including Darwin, Emerson, Thoreau and Olmsted, and they illuminate perennial questions about citizenship and our place in the natural world. Conservation Reconsidered takes a new look at what is problematic about the legacy of American conservationism and explores worthy alternatives to the dominant environmentalist thinking of today.

Charles T. Rubin is associate professor of political science at Duquesne University.

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