Benton MacKaye: conservationist, planner, and creator of the by Larry Anderson

By Larry Anderson

Planner and originator of the Appalachian path and a cofounder of the wasteland Society, Benton MacKaye (1879-1975) was once a pioneer in linking the strategies of maintenance and activity. Spanning three-quarters of a century, his lengthy and effective profession had an incredible influence on rising routine in conservation, environmentalism, and local making plans. MacKaye's seminal principles on open air game, wasteland safeguard, land-use making plans, group improvement, and transportation have encouraged generations of activists, pros, and adventurers looking to strike a harmonious stability among human want and the usual environment.This pathbreaking biography offers the 1st whole portrait of this crucial and specified determine in American environmental, highbrow, and cultural historical past. Drawing on broad examine, Larry Anderson lines MacKaye's vast occupation, examines his many released works, and describes the significance of MacKaye's relationships with such influential figures as Lewis Mumford, Aldo Leopold, and Walter Lippmann. This ebook will entice scholars, students, and pros in upkeep, conservation, activity, making plans, and American reviews, in addition to common readers drawn to those matters.

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Additional resources for Benton MacKaye: conservationist, planner, and creator of the Appalachian Trail

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He regularly visited his brothers at Harvard, sometimes accompanying Jamie to his chemistry laboratory, or Percy to hear the legendary Charles Eliot Norton lecture on art. His diary from that school year depicts a somewhat lonely and desultory time, however. The Davenport children, who had been frequent visitors at Shirley, were older than Benton. He was already experiencing the stomach and intestinal troubles that would plague him for the rest of his life; he took the period of recuperation from one such attack to read Thoreau’s Walden.

For Heaven’s sake let us see something better there, if possible. ”69 Benton’s approach to his work and his studies was fixed by the time he entered Harvard, and it would never really change. He became, in his own word, a “humper,” intensely pursuing his own unorthodox interests, while others sometimes wondered just what it was he was doing or talking about. But his brother need not have worried: he was a MacKaye, after all. Benton, it would become clear, was never to be without ambition. ^ ^ 2 From Harvard Yard to the “Primaevial Forest” 1896–1903 E very year, Harvard geologist William Morris Davis began his first lecture in Geography A, “Elementary Physiography,” in the same dramatic manner.

The best argument I ever saw for an aristocracy of birth is a family which preaches democracy. . Theirs is a conspiracy to further the happiness of nations,” wrote Lippmann, who came to 22 • b e n to n m a c k ay e know the MacKayes during his own undergraduate years at Harvard. “That is the MacKaye inheritance—plays, novels, acting, scientific research, ‘fun, fishing, and philosophy’ for all the world—a creative strain, strikingly like the criminal strain. ”43 Benton MacKaye, drawing upon this creative inheritance, would spend a long lifetime inventing his own professions and envisioning innovative social and environmental institutions.

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