An Environmental History
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of Washington Press
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If I were to ask my students who invented the automobile, I suspect their most likely response would be Henry Ford. That answer would be wrong, but wrong for the right reasons. Although there are a num-ber of candidates for the first creator of a road vehicle powered not by animals but by steam or electricity or petroleum, no one person can be ...
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When I first began to work on what ultimately became this book, now nearly a dozen years ago, I had little inkling of just how much its com-pletion would rely on the stunning generosity, support, insight, and assistance of others. I can never hope to repay the debts that I have I owe particular thanks to my mentors at the University of Wiscon-...
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A good transportation system minimizes unnecessary transportation.Like many of my friends, I was ecstatic when the long vigil leading up to my sixteenth birthday ended, and I finally—finally!—got my driv-er’s license. Driving opened a new world of freedom and mobility, par-ticularly after my father bought a new car and gave me his old one: a ...
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...but growing group of like-minded reformers had been agitating for a decade to improve what they saw as the deplorable state of Ameri-can country roads. Their efforts had run into staunch resistance from American farmers, however, who generally regarded the prosperous city dwellers who dominated the road-improvement crowd as unwel-...
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...quickly into prominence, overcoming such formidable obstacles along the way, that in retrospect its success seems almost to have been fore-ordained.1 On Thanksgiving Day, 1895, when the Chicago Times-Herald sponsored the country’s first widely publicized motor-vehicle race, only six contestants made it to the starting line; of those, only two managed ...
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...was synonymous with the idea of hard-surfaced roads, so much so that improved roads were said to be “macadamized” and roads with stone surfaces were said to be made of “macadam.” The Scottish road expert had gained fame early in the century for building smooth-surfaced highways in the area around Bristol, England, using construction ...
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...demands challenged basic road technology, prompting road engineers to devise safer, more durable roads. Others challenged the traditional purposes of roads and streets, triggering a host of new ideas about how to adapt the country’s social and economic life to widespread automo-bile ownership. Faced with exploding numbers of motor vehicles, the ...
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...beyond the emergence of the nation’s first car-dependent landscapes. Among these, soaring car use generated surging demand for gasoline, which had particularly portentous implications for the environment. Fueled by automotive demand, oil companies entered a period of rapid, sustained growth that catapulted an industry originally designed to ...
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...midair above Ford’s River Rouge factory on the edge of Dearborn, Michigan. It spreads before you, a vast complex of buildings—more than you can easily count—and bristles with belching smokestacks. A dense network of tracks interlaces the facility, which is built tight against the curving bank of the river. A long, perfectly straight slip pro-...
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...scapes were already creeping across the United States. Especially in outlying rural locations where small neighborhood institutions had disappeared and in suburban areas that lacked public transportation, cars had become a necessary and important part of many people’s lives. Such car-dependent places remained relatively few and far between, but ...
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In real life . . . the implications of accommodating a few more cars and a few more cars and a few more cars are a little harder to see. But swiftly or slowly, the positive feedback is at work. Swiftly or slowly, greater acces-sibility by car is inexorably accompanied both by less convenience and efficiency of public transportation, and by thinning-down and smearing-...
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Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares: The Paradox of Old Growth in the Inland West The Dawn of Conservation Diplomacy: U.S.-Canadian Wildlife Protection Treaties Irrigated Eden: The Making of an Agricultural Landscape in the American West Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis Driven Wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness ...
Publication Year: 2012
Series Title: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
Series Editor Byline: Edited by William Cronon