Every Wednesday, we review a selection of new and upcoming books addressing a specific aspect of environmentalism. Since summer is prime time for outdoor excursions, and with the premiere of Ken Burn’s documentary National Parks: America’s Best Idea on the horizon, this week's books are about the history of our public lands.
Resurrection: Glen Canyon and a New Vision for the American West (by Annette McGivney, with photographs by James Kay, $30, Braided River, Feb. 2009): When Glen Canyon was dammed in the early '60s, many environmentalists – Sierra Clubbers included – lamented the loss of the Colorado’s canyons, native vegetation, and quintessential wildness. In recent years however, drought and human impact have partially drained Lake Powell, allowing the river to begin to restore itself. This book interweaves full-page pictures with text that conveys the history, resurrection, and beauty of Glen Canyon.
Yellowstone Moran: Painting the American West (by Lita Judge, $17, Viking, Sept. 2009): This historical children’s story tells about a young artist from the city who finagles his way onto an early Yosemite expedition and becomes one of the park’s most influential painters. Award-winning author and illustrator Lita Judge relates the adventure of Moran’s story, from his arrival at Yosemite to when his paintings are used in Congress as testimony to why the park should be saved.