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The Man from Clear Lake: Earth Day Founder Senator Gaylord Nelson Hardcover – March 15, 2004
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"Widely regarded as one of the leading environmentalists in American history, Gaylord Nelson is best known as the founder of Earth Day. This political biography tells the rest of the story—how a small town boy from Wisconsin became a national champion of a progressive agenda. Nelson's record on civil liberties, consumer issues, and Vietnam is remarkable. His story is an inspiration." —Al Gore
"Gaylord Nelson was one of the great public servants of the post–World War II era. This illuminating book is a priceless account of his life and accomplishments."—Tom Brokaw
"A fun book to read—filled with fascinating stories of politics in the twentieth century. We yearn for more political leaders like Gaylord who always voted his conscience and led with integrity and humor."—Bill Meadows, president, The Wilderness Society
Top Customer Reviews
liberal governor and later senator who was the prime mover behind Earth Day. Nelson's greatest achievement may have been
working with Bill Christofferson on this book, which reads more like a novel, that you can not put down, than a standard politican bio. Christofferson has a magnificent way of drawing the reader into the most seemingly boring aspects of state and local government. Nelson was one of the best liked senators of the last century, even Lyndon Johnson, who Nelson strongly opposed on Vietnam, made a private contribute to his senate reelection campaign in 1968. Nelson's life was very straight forward, with little drama or tension. It would be interesting to see what Christofferson could do with senators from the same period who had longer careers and more national fame, such as William Fulbright (Arkansas senator who had to deal with civil rights issues in Washington and back home and battles with LBJ over Vietnam) or Margaret Chase Smith (first woman senator and also first senator to denounce Joe McCarthy, but later became a hawk on Vietnam and lost touch with Maine voters). It is a blessing that Gaylord Nelson is still around to know that this book about his career will keep his memory alive for many years to come.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans (then 10 percent of the population) from diverse backgrounds took to the streets with the common mission of protecting the environment. Earth Day marked the naissance of an era of environmental activism and legislation, and co-founder Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-WI) was the catalyst. In The Man From Clear Lake (University of Wisconsin Press, $30), author Bill Christofferson takes his readers from Nelson's home base in rural Wisconsin to the U.S. Senate, while exploring what spurred him on-a love of nature. This beautifully written biography reveals a man of great diligence, who possessed the ability to mobilize citizens, senators and Presidents to make a stand for "an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all living creatures."
-K.H. in Sept/Oct 2004 issue of E.