In this highly acclaimed history of the national parks, Alfred Runte takes us from Yosemite and Yellowstone to Alaska on a journey of discovery of the American land. Also a prominent adviser and on-camera personality in the Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Runte reminds us what it means to have national parks in a country equally committed to economic achievement. In this fourth edition, there are many new photographs and some old favorites—including an eight-page color portfolio. The text has been revisited in its entirety and a majority of the chapters extensively revised. The book concludes with a hard-hitting assessment about the future, noting that civilization is the problem parks solve. If the park idea America started is to survive, the world must continue to embrace it, too.
Alfred Runte received his Ph.D from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is the author of Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness, Trains of Discovery: Western Railroads and the National Parks, and Allies of the Earth: Railroads and the Soul of Preservation. He lives in Seattle, Washington.