Kirkus Reviews QR Code


From Its Roots to the Challenges of a New Century

by Laurence Pringle

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: March 31st, 2000
ISBN: 0-688-15626-6
Publisher: HarperCollins

Laurence Pringle (Bats, 2000, etc.) has assembled a superior overview of the environmental movement from its inception to the present. He begins with North America's first folly, when the settlers arrived, facing a brutal, merciless land that seemed inexhaustibly abundant. Pringle leads us through the first steps of the environmental movement, when few realized the abundance was far from inexhaustible. He describes the onset of the naturalists and the conservationists who were lead by the likes of John Muir and put into political practice by Theodore Roosevelt. Pringle highlights the foremost individuals of the movement and includes illustrative photographs. Pringle never shies from being blunt about the treachery of some political leaders or corporations, but neither does he paint a portrait too heavily weighted on one side, rather offering a fine journalistic balance of facts without histrionics or pedantry. The book is so engrossing and even uplifting that when it finally arrives at the nineties it is a sad declaration that despite all that has been achieved, the planet and its creatures still face incredible peril in many forms. Written with clarity and resonance, this leaves the reader with a sense of progress as well as urgency for further change. (lists of ecosystem services, environmental and government agencies, further reading, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 10-12)