THE BIG BURN
Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America

By Timothy Egan
Mariner BooksSeptember 2010
www.marinerbooks.com

Trade Paperback352 pages, $15.95, ISBN: 978-0547394602
Subject: History / American History / Biography

On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roasting inferno that jumped from treetop to ridge as it raged, destroying towns and timber in the blink of an eye. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men—soldiers, college boys, day workers, immigrants from mining camps—to fight the fire. But no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them. In this epic story of an America outgrowing its manifest destiny, Timothy Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire while also drawing a dramatic portrait of president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot, who did no less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure and conservation as a national value.

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