Saturday, August 08, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt: The Wilderness Warrior - A Man Before His Time

What's amazing about the quote below, is not the eloquence of the statement, but the idea behind it. A man before his time, often criticized for his desire to preserve land, Theodore Roosevelt's quotes are even more special today. Our new found desire for greenness, and the reality of environmental awareness as a true virtue and the destruction of it as a true problem, make Teddy's words that much more important.

Used as in introduction to the The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America - it's a quote that really sets the scene for what appears to be a great book - a book I can't wait to continue reading...
"Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things sometimes seek to champion them by saying the 'the game belongs to the people.' So it does; and not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people. The 'greatest good for the greatest number' applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method."
- Theodore Roosevelt, A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open (1916)

The picture here shows Roosevelt hiking Yosemite with Sierra Club founder John Muir. Roosevelt should be commended for setting aside so much land. The land TR saved for the National Forests was greater than France, Belgium and Holland combined.

Roosevelt is a gem, and we are very lucky that he took the initiative to make conservation a national endeavor.

A book I'm reviewing now focuses on exactly this...

Roosevelt's role as the "naturalist president". The book, entitled The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, pulls from never-before-published material to paint a picture of Roosevelt, that not only evokes masculinity, but a sense of both concern and pride for the nature and beauty of the United States. In the little bit I've read thus far, Roosevelt uses his network of naturalists, mountaineers, hunters, ornithologists, museum experts and the elite to save the country he loves and leave a legacy for which we should be forever grateful.

I'm enjoying this book so much - you'll probably see several blog entries from me concerning this book... great research, great read.

Click here to check out the book and read some reviews.

More Roosevelt Quotes:

John Muir Quotes:

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1 comment:

Tamahome Jenkins said...

It's downright frightening to consider what state the environment would be in right now if not for TR's actions. Considering the general attitude of the public today, and the state of most of the rest of the world (esp. developing countries) who knows what might have been.

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