The National Parks: America's Best Idea : an Illustrated History

Front Cover
Alfred A. Knopf, 2009 - Business & Economics - 403 pages
The companion volume to the twelve-hour PBS series from the acclaimed filmmaker behind The Civil War, Baseball, and The War.

America's national parks spring from an idea as radical as the Declaration of Independence: that the nation's most magnificent and sacred places should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. In this evocative and lavishly illustrated narrative, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan delve into the history of the park idea, from the first sighting by white men in 1851 of the valley that would become Yosemite and the creation of the world's first national park at Yellowstone in 1872, through the most recent additions to a system that now encompasses nearly four hundred sites and 84 million acres.

The authors recount the adventures, mythmaking, and intense political battles behind the evolution of the park system, and the enduring ideals that fostered its growth. They capture the importance and splendors of the individual parks: from Haleakala in Hawaii to Acadia in Maine, from Denali in Alaska to the Everglades in Florida, from Glacier in Montana to Big Bend in Texas. And they introduce us to a diverse cast of compelling characters--both unsung heroes and famous figures such as John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ansel Adams--who have been transformed by these special places and committed themselves to saving them from destruction so that the rest of us could be transformed as well.

The National Parks is a glorious celebration of an essential expression of American democracy.

 

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An illustrated Bucket List

User Review  - pabquilts - Overstock.com

We got these as gifts for our kids and ther families. They are always looking for something different for their travels and trips. The gorgeous photos and interesting text allow them to figure out what park to go to next. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - greggchadwick - LibraryThing

Ken Burns is a National Treasure Along with our National Parks In 1872 the United States Government created the first National Park on the globe: Yellowstone National Park. "The National Parks ... Read full review

Contents

Aſreasure House of Natures Superlatives
38
chapter three
139
chapter Four
253
Afterward
381
Acknowledgments
388
Illustration credits
401
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of The National Parks, is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker. His nine other books include, with Ken Burns, Horatio’s Drive and Lewis & Clark. He has collaborated on all of Ken Burns’s films for twenty years as a writer, producer, and consultant. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

Ken Burns, director and producer of The National Parks, founded his own documentary company, Florentine Films, in 1976. His films include The War, Jazz, Baseball, and The Civil War, which was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television. His work has won numerous prizes, including the Emmy and Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award nominations. He received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 2008. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

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