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Other titles in the Working Class in American History series:
Workers and the Wild: Conservation, Consumerism, and Labor in Oregon, 1910-30 (Working Class in American History)by Lawrence M. Lipin
Synopses & Reviews
In an innovative blend of environmental and labor history, Workers and the Wild examines the changing terms on which battles over the proper use of nature were fought in the early twentieth century. Focusing on Oregon in the 1910s and 1920s, Lawrence M. Lipin traces labor's shift in thinking about natural resources. They began with the 'producerist' idea that resources and land, both rural and urban, should be put to productive use, and that those who do are most entitled to access to them. They later shifted to a ‘consumerist' view under which resources should be available for public and recreational use.
While labor was initially resistant to the elitism of protected nature preserves, working-class views changed as automobiles became more affordable, and gained increased access to national parks, forests, and beaches. They subsequently accepted the preservation of nature for recreation, and even began to pressure state agencies to provide more outdoor opportunities. While fish and game commissioners responded with ever more intensive hatchery operations, wildlife advocates began a push for designated "wilderness" areas. In these and other ways, the labor movement's shifting relationship to nature reveals the complicated development of wildlife policy and its own battles with consumerism.
Book News Annotation:
Lipin (history, Pacific U., Oregon) describes how organized labor in Oregon opposed early conservation efforts, seeing them as an attempt by capitalists and corporatists to draw wealthy tourists from elsewhere to take their leisure in nature that local workers were not allowed to earn their living by exploiting. Labor activists promoted small farms in rural areas that would not only provide a reliable source of food, but would also help alleviate the bust-and-boom labor market of the growing economy. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Exploring the tight ties between wilderness use and class
About the Author
Lawrence M. Lipin is a professor of history at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.
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History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » History