Well written and well performed. if you like American history it is an eye openner about a disaster you didn't hear about in school. This writer wrote one of my all time favorite books The Worst Hard Time. Read that one too.
An excellent lesson of the importance of our national resources for the good of everyone in the country both those of the current generation and those generations yet to be born.
I do not know how closely the fires of the summer of 2016 resemble those of 1910. Hopefully the law makers and all citizens have, or will, learn valuable lessons to manage and protect our national resources so that commercial and esthetic interests will co exist in a mutual partnership that will allow both points of view to co exist for untold generations to come.
Great look back at the history of the USFS, Conservation, and the Progressive ideas brought about by Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot.
this book is excellent accounting of the history of the conservation movement as a tool of government. I never understood how "progressive" Teddy Roosevelt was and how the same tired arguments against conservation are still espoused
My Dad was a Forest Service Ranger for many years, which may explain why I liked this book so much and learning about the early history of the Service and the big fire that caused so many changes. The accounts of the fire, many quotes from people who experienced the horror, were frightening and well-written. It does lose one star for a tenancy to repetition and bias - even though I happen to agree with the bias.
The hot dry inland Northwest summer of 2015 prompted this read. The conditions were similar; fortunately the 70 mph winds waited until November otherwise someone could've written The Big Burn 2. A fascinating tale of local history that happened a mere century ago. It is good to be reminded that nature is an unstoppable force and that we humans live at its mercy. The parallel tale of the movement to preserve land it in its natural state and the never ending battle against greed and consumption was inspirational.
The Big Burn was a wonderful story, and it kept me spellbound. The character development in this book makes you feel like you know Gifford Pinchot, Teddy Roosevelt, and so many others. If you love history you will love this book. I enjoyed hearing about Ed Pulaski, the Forest Service and the politics to defend and conserve our land. I had not read much on President Taft so all of that was an eye opener for me! It was a fantastic book!
The Forest Service and their sacrifices.
This is an excellent book, but I have to take stars off because of the bias for TR and lazy reporting on Wm Howard Taft. Like any other person or president, TR was not all good or all bad. He was colorful & Egan seemed taken by him. His descriptions of Taft, however, were inexcusable. Taft was a large man but for Egan, Taft's size seems to his only characteristic. Taft was an accomplished man, later the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I would have much rather heard about TR & Taft's disagreements without continuing to hear about Taft's size.
The story was good, however the title is a little misleading. Teddy Roosevelt plays a bit part in this story and based on the actual outcomes of US Forestry policy, as told by this book, it's doubtful if either the fire or Roosevelt saved America. However if you go into this knowing you'll hear about the earliest days of the US Forest Service and how many interesting people were affected by the biggest US forest fire (at that time) you'll enjoy it. You'll learn quite a bit about Gifford Pinchot and possibly, like me, want to hear more of his story. Overall I recommend it for anyone interested in an interesting piece of history from the early 20th century.
If you have a love for the outdoors and how our forfathers fought for its preservation this is an amazing story of why WE still get to enjoy these things today! The Narrator is perfect for this story