The standard, and excellent, history of the national
parks is John Ise, Our National Park Policy: A Critical History
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1961). A history of the
national park idea, is Alfred Runte, National Parks: The American
Experience (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979). For a view
of the parks by an insider during the early days of the National Park
Service, see Robert Sterling Yard, The Book of the National Parks
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1919). A fine descriptive book is
Freeman Tilden, The National Parks (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
For more detailed information about park history
consult Paul Buck, The Evolution of the National Park System of the
United States (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946);
Donald C. Swain, "The Passage of the National Park Service Act of 1916,"
Wisconsin, Magazine of History 50 (1966):4; Alfred Runte, "The
National Park Idea: Origins and Paradox of American Experience,"
Journal of Forest History 21, no. 2 (April. 1977):64; Joseph L.
Sax, "America's National Parks: Their Principles, Purposes and
Prospects," Natural History 85, no. 8 (October, 1976):57.
The history of recreation policy in the national
forests is best detailed in the Ph.D. dissertation of James P. Gilligan,
"The Development of Policy and Administration of Forest Service
Primitive and Wilderness Areas in the Western United States" (University
of Michigan, 1953); see also Harold K. Steen, The U.S. Forest
Service: A History (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1976);
Donald F. Cate, "Recreation and the U.S. Forest Service: Organizational
Response to Changing Demands" (Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, 1963).
The leading scholarly book on national forests is Samuel T. Dana,
Forest and Range Policy (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1956). There is
much less literature dealing with recreation on Bureau of Land
Management areas. Marion Clawson, The Bureau of Land Management
(New York: Praeger, 1971); Preserving Our Natural Heritage, vol.
1 , Federal Activities, prepared for the United States Department
of the Interior, National Park Service, by the Nature Conservancy
(Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1977).
There are several fine books on the history of
American attitudes toward nature that sharply illuminate the ideas
underlying the establishment of national parks. The best of these are
Hans Huth, Nature and the American: Three Centuries of Changing
Attitudes (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1972), with an
excellent chapter on the founding of Yosemite National Park; Roderick
Nash, Wilderness and the American Mind (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1973); Leo Marx, The Machine in the Garden:
Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1964); Cecilia Tichi, New World, New Earth:
Environmental Reform in American Literature from the Puritans Through
Whitman (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1979). See also Norman
Foerster, Nature in American Literature (New York: Russell &
Russell, 1923); Roderick Nash, ed., The American Environment:
Readings in the History of Conservation (Reading, Mass.:
The symbolism of the untamed West, parallel to but
distinct from movements for nature preservation, is superbly limned in
Henry Nash Smith, Virgin Land: The American West as Symbol and
Myth (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1950). See also
Bernard DeVoto, Mark Twain's America (Boston: Houghton Mifflin
Co., Sentry, 1967). A European perspective is provided by Raymond
Williams, The Country and the City (New York: Oxford University
The wilderness movement is a distinct subspecies of
the larger American involvement with nature. Among useful books devoted
solely to it are Michael Frome, Battle for the Wilderness (New
York: Praeger, 1974), and Donald N. Baldwin, The Quiet Revolution:
The Grass Roots of Today's Wilderness Preservation Movement
(Boulder, Colo.: Pruett Publishing Co. , 1972). A wide range of
references are provided in John C. Hendee, George H. Stankey, and Robert
C. Lucas, Wilderness Management, U.S., Department of Agriculture,
Forest Service, Miscellaneous Publication no. 1365 (Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1978).
The early histories of national parks themselves are
not generally highly illuminating. Yosemite and Yellowstone are the
exceptional cases. On Yosemite, see Hans Huth, "Yosemite: The Story of
an Idea," Sierra Club Bulletin 33, no. 3 (1948):47; Shirley
Sargent, Galen Clark, Yosemite Guardian (San Francisco: Sierra
Club, 1964); Carl Patcher Russell, One Hundred Years in Yosemite
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1947); Holway
R. Jones, John Muir and the Sierra Club: The Battle for Yosemite
(San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1965). On Yellowstone, see Aubrey L.
Haines, The Yellowstone Story: A History of Our First National
Park, 2 vols. (Yellowstone Library and Museum Association in
cooperation with Colorado Associated University Press, 1977); Aubrey L.
Haines, Yellowstone National Park: Its Exploration and
Establishment (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1974);
H. Duane Hampton, How the U.S. Cavalry Saved Our National Parks
(Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1971).
Hans Huth, Nature and the American, has a
chapter on Yellowstone, Yosemite, and Grand Canyon. Frank Graham, The
Adirondack Park (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1977), is an excellent
history of a state park. Carolyn de Vries, Grand and Ancient Forest:
The Story of Andrew P. Hill and Big Basin Redwood State Park
(Fresno, Calif.: Valley Publishers, 1978) also has useful information.
Typical of other books on the national parks are Carlos C. Campbell,
Birth of a National Park in the Great Smoky Mountains, rev. ed.
(Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1969) and Robert Treuer,
Voyageur Country: A Park in the Wilderness (Minneapolis:
University of Minnesota Press, 1979). See also Peter Wild, Enos
Mills (Rocky Mountain National Park) (Boise, Idaho: Boise State
Early visitor attitudes and expectations are revealed
in Earl Pomeroy, In Search of the Golden West: The Tourist in Western
America (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1957.)
There are many individuals who gave substance to a
park idea through their work or their writing. A sketch of some of the
major figures is found in Peter Wild, Pioneer Conservationists of
Western America (Missoula, Mont.: Mountain Publishing Co.,
John Muir, more than any other individual, symbolizes
the parks in the American mind. There is no first-rate Muir biography,
unfortunately. The best available work is Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of
the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (New York: Alfred A. Knopf,
1945). Muir's partial autobiography, The Story of My Boyhood and
Youth (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1965), is
fascinating. Holway R. Jones, John Muir and the Sierra Club, is
also very informative, though its scope is limited. There are several
good dissertations on Muir: Edith Jane Hadley, John Muir's Views of
Nature and Their Consequences (Ph.D. diss., University of Wisconsin,
1956) and Daniel Barr Weber, John Muir: The Function of Wilderness in
an Industrial Society (Ph.D. diss., University of Minnesota, 1964).
Though Muir"s writings are widely scattered in the periodical
literature, there is a fine bibliography: William F. Kimes and Maymie B.
Kimes, John Muir: A Reading Bibliography (Palo Alto: William P.
Wreden, 1977). The most accessible selection of Muir"s articles is found
in Edwin Way Teale, ed., The Wilderness World of John Muir
(Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1952).
John Burroughs, a contemporary of Muir's, was an
extremely popular nature writer, and was in a sense a domestic
counterpart to Muir, the explorer and mountain man. For a sense of
Burroughs, see Clifton Johnson, John Burroughs Talks (Boston:
Houghton Mifflin Co. , 1922); Clara Barrus, Our Friend John
Burroughs (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1914).
There are two excellent biographies of Frederick Law
Olmsted: Elizabeth Stevenson, Park Maker: A Life of Frederick Law
Olmsted (New York: Macmillan Co., 1977) and Laura Wood Roper,
FLO: A Biography of Frederick Law Olmsted (Baltimore: Johns
Hopkins University Press, 1973). Almost all Olmsted's important writings
on nature park issues are found in rather obscure places. His great
article "The Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Big Trees" appears in
Landscape Architecture 44, no. 1(1953): 17. His writings on
Niagara Falls are in "Notes by Mr. Olmsted,'" The Special Report of
the New York State Survey on the Preservation of the Scenery of Niagara
Falls and Fourth Annual Report on the Triangulation of the State for the
Year 1879 (Albany: Charles von Benthuysen & Sons, 1880) p. 27;
and "Report of Messrs. Olmsted and Vaux," Supplemental Report of the
Commissioners of the State Reservation at Niagara Transmitted to the
Legislature January 31, 1887 (Albany: Argus Co., 1887), p. 21. The
fascinating movement to save Niagara is detailed in Alfred Runte,
"Beyond the Spectacular: The Niagara Falls Preservation Campaign,'"
New York State Historical Society Quarterly 57 (January,
1973):30; "The Movement for the Redemption of Niagara," New Princeton
Review (New York: A. C. Armstrong & Sons, 1886), 1:233; and
Charles M. Dow, The State Reservation at Niagara: A History
(Albany: J. B. Lyon Co., 1914). See also Public Parks and the
Enlargement of Towns (Cambridge, Mass.: Riverside Press, 1870;
reprint ed., New York: Arno Press and The New York Times, 1970).
There is as yet, unhappily, no full biography of Aldo
Leopold, the major figure in the establishment of forest wilderness. See
Susan L. Flader, Thinking Like a Mountain: Aldo Leopold and the
Evolution of an Ecological Attitude Toward Deer, Wolves and Forests
(Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1974). Like John Muir, Aldo
Leopold scattered much of his writing in journals. A characteristic
article is "The Wilderness and Its Place in Forest Recreational Policy,"
Journal of Forestry 19, no. 7 (November, 192 1):7 18. Leopold's
best known book is A Sand County Almanac With Other Essays on
Conservation from Round River (New York: Oxford University Press,
The best article of Robert Marshall, a founder of the
Wilderness Society, is "The Problem of Wilderness," Scientific
Monthly 30 (February, 1930): 141. He also wrote on his travels in
Alaska: Alaska Wilderness Exploring the Central Brooks Range
(Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1973).
Among contemporary writers, none is more influential
or widely read than Edward Abbey. The best of his nonfiction books is
Desert Solitaire (New York: Random House, Ballantine Books,
1971); see also The Journey Home (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1977);
Abbey's Road (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1979); and with Philip
Hyde, Slickrock: The Canyon Country (San Francisco: Sierra Club,
The American nature-writing genre is extensive, and
no selection can do more than suggest the range and variety of its
influence on preservationist thinking. Sigurd Olson, Reflections from
the North Country (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976); Joseph Wood
Krutch, The Voice of the Desert (New York: William Sloane Assoc.,
1975); Gary Snyder, Turtle Island (New York: New Directions,
1974); John McPhee, Coming Into the Country (New York: Bantam
Books, 1979); Wallace Stegner, "The War Between the Rough Riders and the
Bird Watchers,"' Sierra Club Bulletin 44, no. 4 (May, 1959); and
Margaret E. Murie, Two in the Far North (Anchorage, Alaska:
Northwest Publishing Co., 1978) reveal the variousness of contemporary
For a view of another contemporary leader in the
parks and nature preservation movement, David Brower of Friends of the
Earth, see John McPhee, Encounters with the Archdruid (New York:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1971).
Theodore Roosevelt is the most prominent of those who
played a central role in the political history of the parks. There is,
of course, a superabundance of writing on Roosevelt, but a few books are
focused on his role in conservation history. Paul Russell Cutright,
Theodore Roosevelt the Naturalist (New York: Harper & Bros.,
1956) and Francis Cevrier Guittard, Roosevelt and Conservation
(Ph.D. diss., Stanford University, 1930). An excellent book on the early
Roosevelt is Edmund Morris, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (New
York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1979).
Both the first and second directors of the National
Park Service have been the subject of useful biographies. Robert
Shankland, Steve Mather of the National Parks (New York: Alfred
A. Knopf, 1951) and Donald C. Swain, Wilderness Defender: Horace M.
Albright and Conservation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1970). One of the great American figures, though he is not usually
associated with parklands or recreation, is John Wesley Powell, the
explorer of the Colorado River and head of the United States Geological
Survey. His thinking has, though indirectly, been enormously
influential. Wallace Stegner's fine biography of Powell is Beyond the
Hundredth Meridian: John Wesley Powell and the Second Opening of the
West (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1954).
Towering above all others in influence and in the
depth of his writing is Thoreau, and standing beside him is Emerson. The
best selection of Thoreau's work appears in Carl Bode, ed., The
Portable Thoreau (New York: Viking, 1975); and in Odell Shepard,
ed., The Heart of Thoreau's Journals (New York: Dover
Publications, 1961). Of course there is no substitute for reading
Thoreau in extenso. A fine book about him is Walter Harding,
The Days of Henry Thoreau (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1965). A
good selection of Emerson's writing appears in Ralph Waldo Emerson,
Selected Prose and Poetry, 2d ed., ed. Reginald L. Cook (New
York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston, 1969).
Many of the ideas about the importance of parks as
public institutions found in the writings of conservation movement
figures are paralleled in nineteenth-century thinking about places like
universities, libraries, and museums. See, for example, Frederick
Rudolph, The American College and University: A History (New
York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1962); Laurence R. Veysey, The Emergence of
the American University (Chicago: University of Chicago Press,
1965); Daniel M. Fox, Engines of Culture: Philanthropy and Art
Museums (Madison: State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1963);
Sidney Ditzion, Arsenals of a Democratic Culture (Chicago:
American Library Association, 1947); Nathanial Burt, Palaces for the
People, (Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1977); William B. Ashley,
"The Promotion of Museums," Proceedings of the American Association
of Museums 7 (1913):39.
Books about the recreational experience are legion.
On fishing, the great book is Izaak Walton and Charles Cotton, The
Compleat Angler (London: Navarre Society, 1925). An ample
bibliography appears in Arnold Gingrich, The Well-Tempered Angler
(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1966). A beautiful American fictional story
on fishing is Ernest Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River," in In Our
Time (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970). I also find Norman
MacLean's "A River Runs Through It" splendidly evocative, A River
Runs Through It and Other Stories (Chicago: University of Chicago
The most stimulating book on hunting is José
Ortega y Gasset's Meditations on Hunting (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1972), a book that is best understood when read in
conjunction with the same author's The Revolt of the Masses (New
York: W. W. Norton & Co., 1957). The great American hunting story is
William Faulkner's "The Bear" in The Portable Faulkner, ed.
Malcolm Cowley (New York: Viking Press, 1967). See also Paul Shepard,
The Tender Carnivore and the Sacred Game (New York: Charles
Scribner's Sons, 1973); John G. Mitchell, "Bitter Harvest,"
Audubon 81, nos. 3, 4, 5, 6 (1979):50, 64, 88, 104.
There is no single mountain climbing book that stands
alone, as does Walton and Cotton on fishing. Maurice Herzog,
Annapurna (New York: E. P. Dutton & Co., 1953) is among the
best known. Chris Bonington, Everest the Hard Way (New York:
Random House, 1976) and Galen Rowell, In the Throne Room of the
Mountain Gods (San Francisco: Sierra Club, 1977) are characteristic
recent works. A very little article by Lito Tejada-Flores, "Games
Climbers Play," Ascent, 1964, p. 23, may be the most revealing
and remarkable work in the modern literature.
Typical books, illustrative of the participant's
view, and striking in both their differences and similarities, are Colin
Fletcher, The Man Who Walked Through Time (New York: Random
House, Vintage Books, 1967), on hiking the Grand Canyon; Joe Henderson,
The Long Run Solution (Mountain View, Calif.: World Publications,
P.O. Box 366, 1976), on running; Sally Wimer, The Snowmobiler's
Companion (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973), on
snowmobiling; Charles Gaines and George Butler, Pumping Iron (New
York: Simon and Schuster, 1974), on bodybuilding.
A striking contrast to the Wimer book is Robert
Pirsig's Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (New York:
Bantam Books, 1976), a compelling evocation of the possibilities of man
and machine in harmony. Of the "real" Zen sports books, the supreme
exemplar is Eugen Herrigel, Zen in the Art of Archery (New York:
Random House, Vintage Books, 1971), closely followed by Michael Murphy,
Golf in the Kingdom (New York: Dell, Delta Books, 1972). In
general, see Alan W. Watts, The Way of Zen (New York: Random
House, Vintage Books, 1957).
There is a large, serious literature both about
sports and "play," a more embracing term whose boundaries are not fully
clear. The classic work is Johan Huizinga, Homo Ludens: A Study of
the Play Element in Culture (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul,
1949). A critique and expansion of Huizinga's thesis is provided by
Roger Caillois, Man, Play and Games (New York: Free Press, 1961).
See also Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Beyond Boredom and Anxiety
(San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 1975) and Josef Pieper, Leisure, the
Basis of Culture (London: Fontana Library, 1965). A glimpse of the
extensive psychological and psychoanalytic literature on play may be had
in Franz Alexander, "A Contribution to the Theory of Play,"
Psychoanalytic Quarterly 27 (1958): 175; and from Rueben Fine,
The Psychology of the Chess Player (New York: Dover Publications,
For serious views of organized sports, see Paul
Weiss, Sport: A Philosophic Inquiry (Carbondale: Southern
Illinois University Press, 1969); Allen Guttman, From Ritual to
Record: The Nature of Modern Sports (New York: Columbia University
Press, 1978); and Michael Novak, The Joy of Sports (New York:
Basic Books, 1976). An interesting historical account is E. Norman
Gardiner, Athletics of the Ancient World (Oxford: Clarendon
Mass entertainment and its meaning has been the
subject of much writing. Two extensive gatherings of articles are
Bernard Rosenberg and David Manning White, eds., Mass Culture: The
Popular Arts in America (Glencoe, Ill.: Free Press, 1957), and Eric
Larrabee and Rolf Meyersohn, eds., Mass Leisure (Glencoe, Ill.:
Free Press, 1958) (containing a comprehensive bibliography). Two related
books worth reading are George A. Pettitt, Prisoners of Culture
(New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970) and R. M. MacIver, The
Pursuit of Happiness (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1955). Gilbert
Seldes, The Great Audience (New York: Viking Press, 1951) offers
an unconventional view. Tibor Scitovsky's The Joyless Economy: An
Inquiry into Human Satisfaction and Consumer Dissatisfaction (New
York: Oxford University Press, 1977) is a rare look by an economist into
the phenomenon of mass leisure.
The broader psychological implications of the issues
raised by the literature on play and on mass culture are explored by
Carl Rogers, On Becoming a Person (New York: Houghton Mifflin
Co., 1961). A more detailed statement of Rogers's views appears in "A
Theory of Therapy, Personality, and Interpersonal Relationships, as
Developed in the Client-Centered Framework," in Psychology: A Study
of a Science, ed. Sigmund Koch, vol. 3 (New York: McGraw Hill,
1959). See also A. H. Maslow, Motivation and Personality (New
York, Harper & Bros., 1954); idem, The Farther Reaches of Human
Nature (New York: Viking, 1971); Erich Fromm, The Sane
Society (New York: Rinehart & Co., 1955); Sigmund Freud,
Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego, trans. and ed.
James Strachy (New York: Norton & Co., 1959); Richard Locke, "From
TV to Lionel Trilling," New York Times Book Review, June 12,
1977, p. 3.
Professional literature on recreation policy is
extensive. A highly selected, and representative sample, would include:
Marion Clawson and Jack L. Knetch, Economics of Outdoor
Recreation (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1966);
Anthony C. Fisher, The Economics of Natural Environments
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975); Charles J. Cicchetti,
Joseph J. Seneca, and Paul Davidson, The Demand and Supply of Outdoor
Recreation (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1969); B.
L. Driver, ed., Elements of Outdoor Recreation Planning (Ann
Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1974); John C. Hendee, George H.
Stankey, and Robert C. Lucas, Wilderness Management, U.S.,
Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Miscellaneous Publication no.
1365, October, 1978; Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission,
Wilderness and RecreationA Report on Resources, Values and
Problems, ORRRC Study Report 3 (Washington, D.C.: Government
Printing Office. 1962): U.S., Department of Agriculture, Forest Service,
Proceedings: River Recreation Management and Research Symposium,
January 2427, 1977, Minneapolis, Minn., North Central Forest
Experiment Station, General Technical Report NC-28; U.S., Department of
the Interior, Bureau of Outdoor Recreation, Outdoor Recreation: A
Legacy for America. appendix A, "An Economic Analysis" (December,
1973); William E. Shands and Robert G. Healy, The Lands Nobody
Wanted (Washington, D.C.: Conservation Foundation, 1977);
National Parks for the Future (Washington, D.C.: Conservation
Foundation, 1972); Toward an Environmental Policy (Washington,
D.C.: National Parks and Conservation Association, 1971); Preserving
Wilderness in Our National Parks (Washington, D.C.: National Parks
and Conservation Association, 1971).
For a view of the preservationist position in the
making, the following (selected) periodicals are revealing and
informative: National Parks and Conservation (National Parks and
Conservation Association, 1701 18th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009);
Sierra (Sierra Club, 530 Bush St., San Francisco, California
94108); Not Man Apart (Friends of the Earth, 124 Spear St., San
Francisco, California 94105); The Living Wilderness and
Wilderness Report (Wilderness Society, 1901 Pennsylvania Ave.,
N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006); High Country News (331 Main St.,
Lander, Wyoming 82520).