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Yellowstone: The Creation and Selling of an American Landscape, 1870-1903
  • James Pritchard, Iowa State University
Document Type
Book Review
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
Chris Magoc's Yellowstone: The Creation and Selling of an American Landscape offers a compelling examination of the ironies involved in the creation of our first national park. Focusing on the inherent contradictions of nature preservation in an industrializing society, Magoc argues that Yellowstone's popular embrace was "less a progressive step toward modem environmentalism than a profound expression" of dominant trends in middle-class American life (p. 4). Yellowstone National Park and the Northern Pacific Railroad became "monuments on the landscape of American capitalism" during an era when the myth of inexhaustibility enabled Americans to meld nature and the technological sublime (p. 74). Americans' attraction to scenicindustrial landscapes, exemplified by glowing descriptions of geysers as a busy city, demonstrate the paradox of nature appreciation within the booming life of a "transformative, mechanistic civilization" (p. 93).

This book review is from Isis 91 (2000): 797. Posted with permission.

Copyright Owner
The University of Chicago Press on behalf of The History of Science Society
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Citation Information
James Pritchard. "Yellowstone: The Creation and Selling of an American Landscape, 1870-1903" Isis Vol. 91 Iss. 4 (2000) p. 797 - 798
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