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Before Rachel Carson, there was George Bird Grinnell -- the man whose prophetic vision did nothing less than launch American conservation.

Hailed by the New York Times as "the father of American conservation," George Bird Grinnell (1849-1938) , the Brooklyn-born son of a banker, looked beyond a burgeoning cityscape and saw a brighter future for the whole country. In Grinnell, John Taliaferro traces the naturalist's expansive trajectory from his time at Yale through his dozens of expeditions out west, riding alongside General Custer in the Black Hills before Little Bighorn, to the adventures that continued even after he became editor-in-chief of Forest & Stream. Drawing on no less than 40,000 pages of Grinnell's correspondence and dozens of travel notebooks, Taliaferro highlights a century of critical campaigns, from the protection of the vanishing buffalo and the creation of national parks that defined Theodore Roosevelt's administration to sensitive ethnographies of Plains Indian tribes and the founding of the Audubon Society and the Boone and Crockett Club. The result is an enthralling portrait of a man whose influence still guides the imperiled future of our national treasures. 16 pages of black and white illustrations

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