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Wilderness Forever: Howard Zahniser and the Path to the Wilderness Act (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books) Paperback – March 30, 2007

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Editorial Reviews


"Wilderness Forever leads environmental history out of Carson's long shadow. It directs our attention well back past Earth Day..This thorough, lucid book fully realizes biography's promise to illuminate the past by describing a single life."―Agricultural History

"An exceptional biography of a remarkable subject.. Wilderness Forever deserves high praise..[and] will undoubtedly remain the definitive work on Zahniser. Harvey's meticulous research and engaging writing make this volume not only important, but a delight to read. With Wilderness Forever..Harvey firmly establishes himself as the leading historian of wilderness in the post-World War II era."―New Mexico Historical Review

"We have Mark Harvey to thank for a meticulously researched biography, riveting in its detail of how political alliances dissolved or reformed, of how bills became laws, and of how early wilderness defenders sought to reconcile wilderness management and undisturbed conditions."―Western Historical Quarterly

"A solid addition to the body of literature on conservationists and the development of wilderness areas. Highly recommended for the lay reader as well as the scholar."―Electronic Green Journal

"Do environmental historians really need yet another biography of a heroic environmentalist? . . . In the case of Mark Harvey's graceful study of Howard Zahniser, the answer to that question would seem to be, surprisingly, yes, the pantheon of environmental heroes needs to make room for one more addition. Those seeking to understand the tectonic shifts in environmental politics in the mid-twentieth century and the quiet man who played an unexpectedly large role in many of them will find Wilderness Forever to be a welcome― and long overdue― work of environmental biography."―The Journal of American History

"Mark Harvey's Wilderness Forever is a superb biography of the nation's preeminent postwar wilderness lobbyist. Harvey has given readers a detailed portrait of an activist who most environmental historians know was important but do not know well. Like the man it chronicles, Wilderness Forever is quiet and humble but also forceful and convincing."―Oregon Historical Quarterly


"If any one person is responsible for the 1964 Wilderness Act, it is surely Howard Zahniser. He remains a towering figure in the history of American environmentalism, and Mark Harvey has written a first-rate biography that finally does justice to both the man and his contributions."―William Cronon, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"A much-anticipated biography of this most critical of players in the modern environmental movement. Harvey has nicely brought Zahniser's many public accomplishments to light and in doing so has enriched our understanding of the man and the political context in which he so skillfully operated."―Char Miller, author of Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism


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Product Details

  • Series: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press; First Edition, First Printing edition (March 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295987073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295987071
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,599,923 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on December 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This well-researched, straightforward biography will be of great use to anyone interested in the history of conservation and environmentalism in America. Howard Zahniser was a very important early member of the influential Wilderness Society, and was a contemporary of famous outdoor activists such as Aldo Leopold, Benton MacKaye, Olaus Murie, and Robert Marshall. Zahniser is less well-known than those celebrity conservationists because he excelled as an insider who specialized in writing, administration, and garnering support for legislation. But although he was a mostly quiet political specialist, Zahniser had a tremendous long-term influence on the environmental movement and the health of America's wild places. After many years of fighting for the protection of individual primitive areas, Zahniser embarked on his life's work for the passage of federal wilderness legislation. He was by far the most driving force behind the monumental Wilderness Act of 1964, writing most of the legislation himself and working behind the scenes in Washington for eight years to build support for the bill. Sadly, Zahniser died just a few months before the bill's passage into law, but his ongoing legacy is the protection of more than a hundred million acres of untrammeled wilderness across the country.

In addition to extensive coverage of Zahniser's legislative and activist efforts, Mark Harvey has fleshed out this biography with some real insight into Zahniser's success and influence. His most important belief was in the inclusion of all parties who had different reasons to respect the wilderness, from the spiritual to the recreational to the economic. This made Zahniser a consummate builder of coalitions and consensus, leading to great bipartisan political success.
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