An urgent call to protect America’s public lands, told through New York Times bestselling author David Gessner’s American road trip with our greatest conservationist, Theodore Roosevelt, as his guide.
“Leave it as it is,” Theodore Roosevelt announced while viewing the Grand Canyon for the first time. “The ages have been at work on it and man can only mar it.” Roosevelt’s rallying cry signaled the beginning of an environmental fight that still wages today. With America’s wilderness under threat—from corporate interests, from politicians, and from the extremes of climate change—Roosevelt’s awakening into conservationist-in-chief gives us a roadmap for protecting our wild spaces today. To reconnect with the American land and with the president who courageously protected it, acclaimed naturalist and New York Times bestselling author David Gessner embarked on a great American road trip with Roosevelt as his spirit guide.
Gessner travels to the Dakota badlands where Roosevelt ranched as a young man; the twin parks of Yellowstone and Yosemite where Roosevelt escaped during the grind of his reelection tour; the majesty of the Grand Canyon; and finally, Bears Ears, Utah, a monument proposed by local Native American tribes which President Trump recently reduced by 85%. As Gessner moves through the beauty of our public lands, he tells the story of how Roosevelt sought to save them, weaving together a profound meditation on nature and our environmental future.
A beautifully rendered portrait of the West and a powerful call to arms, Gessner presents a timely case for how vital our public lands are in the fight against climate change, how precious that land is, and how we must each join in the fight to protect it for future generations.
David Gessner is the author of ten books, including the New York Times bestseller All the Wild That Remains. He has taught environmental writing as a Briggs-Copeland Lecturer at Harvard and is currently a professor and department chair at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, where he founded the award-winning literary journal Ecotone. Gessner lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.