The relevance and importance of Samuel P. Hay's book, Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency, has only increased over time. Written almost half a century ago, it offers an invaluable history of the conservation movement's origins, and provides an excellent context for understanding contemporary enviromental problems and possible solutions. Against a background of rivers, forests, ranges, and public lands, this book defines two conflicting political processes: the demand for an integrated, controlled development guided by an elite group of scientists and technicians and the demand for a looser system allowing grassroots impulses to have a voice through elected government representatives.
An invaluable study.
This is a challenging reinterpretation of the conservation movement, based on impressive research.
Samuel P. Hays was University Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Wars in the Woods: The Rise of Ecological Forestry in America; Explorations in Environmental History; Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920; and, with Barbara D. Hays, Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955-1985.