NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER The acclaimed, award-winning historian—“America’s new past master” (Chicago Tribune)—examines the environmental legacy of FDR and the New Deal.Douglas Brinkley’s The Wilderness Warrior celebrated Theodore Roosevelt’s spirit of outdoor exploration and bold vision to protect 234 million acres of wild America. Now, in Rightful Heritage, Brinkley turns his attention to the other indefatigable environmental leader—Teddy’s distant cousin, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, chronicling his essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and premier protector of America’s public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. Pristine landscapes such as the Great Smokies, the Everglades, Joshua Tree, the Olympics, Big Bend, Channel Islands, Mammoth Cave, and the slickrock wilderness of Utah were forever saved by his leadership.Brinkley traces FDR’s love for the natural world from his youth exploring the Hudson River Valley and bird watching. As America’s president from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt—consummate political strategist—established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern endangered species movement. He brilliantly positioned his conservation goals as economic policy to combat the severe unemployment of the Great Depression. During its nine-year existence, the CCC put nearly three million young men to work on conservation projects—including building trails in the national parks, pollution control, land restoration to combat the Dust Bowl, and planting over two billion trees.Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR’s unrivaled passion and drive, and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature—exploiting our natural resources and conserving them. Within the narrative are brilliant capsule biographies of such environmental warriors as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harold Ickes, and Rosalie Edge. Rightful Heritage is essential reading for everyone seeking to preserve our treasured landscapes as an American birthright.
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America
From New York Times bestselling historian Douglas Brinkley comes a sweeping historical narrative and eye-opening look at the pioneering environmental policies of President Theodore Roosevelt, avid bird-watcher, naturalist, and the founding father of America’s conservation movement.In this groundbreaking epic biography, Douglas Brinkley draws on never-before-published materials to examine the life and achievements of our “naturalist president.” By setting aside more than 230 million acres of wild America for posterity between 1901 and 1909, Theodore Roosevelt made conservation a universal endeavor. This crusade for the American wilderness was perhaps the greatest U.S. presidential initiative between the Civil War and World War I. Roosevelt’s most important legacies led to the creation of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and passage of the Antiquities Act in 1906. His executive orders saved such treasures as Devils Tower, the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest.
Published in commemoration of the centennial of President John F. Kennedy’s birth, here is the definitive compendium of JFK’s most important and brilliant speeches, accompanied by commentary and reflections by leading American and international figures—including Senator Elizabeth Warren, David McCullough, Kofi Annan, and the Dalai Lama—and edited by JFK’s nephew Stephen Kennedy Smith and renowned historian Douglas Brinkley. Combined with over seven hundred documentary photos, it tells the story, in words and pictures, of JFK’s life and presidency, and depicts his compelling vision for America.JFK brings together in one volume John F. Kennedy’s greatest speeches alongside essays by America’s top historians, analysis from leading political thinkers, and personal insights from preeminent writers and artists. Here is JFK at his best—thought-provoking, inspiring, eloquent, and wise—on a number of wide-ranging topics, including civil rights, the race to the moon, the environment, immigration, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and much more. JFK demonstrates the deep relevance of his words today and his lasting power and influence as an outstanding American leader and orator.Elegantly designed and enriched by more than 500 photographs and facsimiles of Kennedy’s marginalia on drafts of speeches, his notes from important meetings, letters, and other fascinating documents, JFK is a major contribution to American history.The august list of contributors includes Secretary John Kerry, Ambassador Samantha Power, Congressman John Lewis, Senator John McCain, Senator Elizabeth Warren, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Robert Redford, Conan O’Brien, Dave Eggers, Gloria Steinem, Don DeLillo, David McCullough, George Packer, Colum McCann, Michael Beschloss, Robert Dallek, David Kennedy, Ted Widmer, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Drew Faust, Tariq Ramadan, Pastor Rick Warren, Jonathan Alter, E. J. Dionne, Ron Suskind, Paul Krugman, Kofi Annan, Governor Jerry Brown, Paul Theroux, Jorge Domínguez, and many others.
The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day, and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion
The 100-foot promontory known as Pointe du Hoc -- where six big German guns were ensconced -- was the number one target of the heavy U.S. and British warships poised in the English Channel on D-Day morning. Facing arguably the toughest task to befall U.S. forces during the war, the brave men of the Army 2nd Ranger Battalion boldly took control of the fortified cliff and set in motion the liberation of Europe.Based upon recently released documents, here is the first in-depth, anecdotal remembrance of these fearless Army Rangers. Acclaimed author and historian Douglas Brinkley deftly moves between events four decades apart to tell two riveting stories: the making of Ronald Reagan's historic 1984 speeches about the storming of the Normandy coast and the actual heroic event that inspired them and helped to end the Second World War.
Fifty years after she made history by refusing to give up her seat on a bus, Rosa Parks at last gets the major biography she deserves. The eminent historian Douglas Brinkley follows this thoughtful and devout woman from her childhood in Jim Crow Alabama through her early involvement in the NAACP to her epochal moment of courage and her afterlife as a beloved (and resented) icon of the civil rights movement. Well researched and written with sympathy and keen insight, the result is a moving, revelatory portrait of an American heroine and her tumultuous times.
Douglas Brinkley presents the definitive, revealing biography of an American legend: renowned news anchor Walter Cronkite.An acclaimed author and historian, Brinkley has drawn upon recently disclosed letters, diaries, and other artifacts at the recently opened Cronkite Archive to bring detail and depth to this deeply personal portrait.He also interviewed nearly two hundred of Cronkite’s closest friends and colleagues, including Andy Rooney, Leslie Stahl, Barbara Walters, Dan Rather, Brian Williams, Les Moonves, Christiane Amanpour, Katie Couric, Bob Schieffer, Ted Turner, Jimmy Buffett, and Morley Safer, using their voices to instill dignity and humanity in this study of one of America’s most beloved and trusted public figures.
“A revealing selection . . . [a] heroic service.” — New York Times Book Review“Endlessly fascinating . . . Essential for students of late-twentieth-century history and the American presidency.” — Kirkus Reviews “[A] monumental effort . . . Astonishing.” — Austin American-Statesman Between 1971 and 1973, President Richard Nixon’s voice-activated tape recorders captured 3,700 hours of conversations. Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter’s intrepid two-volume transcription and annotation of the highlights of this essential archive provides an unprecedented and fascinating window into the inner workings of a momentous presidency. The Nixon Tapes: 1973 tells the concluding chapter of the story, the final year of taping, covering such events as the Vietnam cease-fire, the Wounded Knee standoff, and, of course, the Watergate investigation. Once again, there are revelations on every page. With Nixon’s landslide 1972 reelection victory receding into the background and the scandal that would scuttle the administration looming, The Nixon Tapes: 1973 reveals the inside story of the tragedy that followed the triumph. “A priceless . . . historical document . . . Readers will enjoy the editors’ insightful introductions.” — Publishers Weekly
Douglas Brinkley takes us on the incredible journey of the United States - a nation formed from a vast countryside on whose fringes a few small colonies made a bold cast at freedom, then burgeoned into an expanding democracy, and ultimately flourished as a world power. From the first primitive maps outlining a New World to the faded daguerreotypes of young men in uniforms standing beside Confederate flags; to pictures of hopeful immigrant families arriving at Ellis Island; to the stirring photographs of civil rights marchers; to the terrible images of the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing - the history of America offers a stunning album of people and events.
The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast
In the span of five violent hours on August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed major Gulf Coast cities and flattened 150 miles of coastline. But it was only the first stage of a shocking triple tragedy. On the heels of one of the three strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States came the storm-surge flooding, which submerged a half-million homes—followed by the human tragedy of government mismanagement, which proved as cruel as the natural disaster itself. In The Great Deluge, bestselling author Douglas Brinkley finds the true heroes of this unparalleled catastrophe, and lets the survivors tell their own stories, masterly allowing them to record the nightmare that was Katrina.
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