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This Land, This Nation
Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal


  • Date Published: May 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521617963

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About the Authors
  • This 2007 book combines political with environmental history to present conservation policy as a critical arm of New Deal reform, one that embodied the promises and limits of midcentury American liberalism. It interprets the natural resource programs of the 1930s and 1940s as a set of federal strategies aimed at rehabilitating the economies of agricultural areas. The New Dealers believed that the country as a whole would remain mired in depression as long as its farmers remained poorer than its urban residents, and these politicians and policymakers set out to rebuild rural life and raise rural incomes with measures tied directly to conservation objectives - land retirement, soil restoration, flood control, and affordable electricity for homes and industries. In building new constituencies for the environmental initiatives, resource administrators and their liberal allies established the political justification for an enlarged federal government and created the institutions that shaped the contemporary rural landscape.

    • First work to combine political with environmental history to analyze American government and public policy during the formative New Deal era
    • Demonstrates the importance of rural areas and farm populations to American political economy and to strategies of national state building
    • Does not confine the story within US borders, but includes a lengthy epilogue that examines the international influence of American resource development models
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521617963
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The new conservation
    2. Poor people, poor land
    3. The best new dealer from Texas
    4. The industrial transition
    5. Epilogue: exporting the New Deal.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • 20th Century US
    • American West Since 1850
    • New Deal America
    • Public Policy and Politics of the New Deal
  • Author

    Sarah T. Phillips, Columbia University, New York
    Sarah T. Phillips is an Assistant Professor of History at Columbia University who specializes in twentieth-century American political and environmental history. Her publications include articles in Environmental History and Agricultural History, and anthology chapters on transatlantic agrarian history and on the Franklin Roosevelt presidency. Her dissertation, on which this book is based, won the 2003 Gilbert C. Fite award from the Agricultural History Society.

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