The Big Burn

Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

Egan, Timothy

(Book - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Big Burn
Narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire of August, 1910, and Teddy Roosevelt's pioneering conservation efforts that helped turn public opinion permanently in favor of the forests, though it changed the mission of the forest service with consequences felt in the fires of today.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009
ISBN: 0618968415
Branch Call Number: 973.911 E287b 2009
Characteristics: x, 324 p., [8] p. of plates :,ill., map ;,24 cm


From Library Staff

In 1910 a gigantic wildfire was formed by the merger of several small wildfires in the Pacific Northwest. It would burn 3 million acres and five towns to the ground. It would kill 100 people. Incredible research into primary sources went into this book and it is narrative history at its best. Sp... Read More »

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Nov 23, 2014
  • MCLOWO007 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The way Tim Egan told the story of this fire and how it led oddly to a national action for protection of forests was really interesting. It has a lot of detail that i wasn't able to connect to but i could see how the building blocks were laid down in history. Plus his writing style is direct and colorful.

Aug 31, 2013
  • tocch101 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

An interesting read that highlights a time in history I was not aware of. The individuals in the story are well written to the point that you want a happy ending for everyone. However, it took me forever to make it through this book.

Aug 06, 2012
  • heartfelthands rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

You could not ask for better designed characters than Roosevelt and Pinchot. Almost too good to be believable.

Jul 21, 2012
  • hughsehler rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Loved the book. Loved learning about Teddy Roosevelt and the birth of the forest service and the environmental movement.

Jun 23, 2012
  • pokano rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Tim Egan writes an interesting account of the greatest wildfire in American history and the politics that led up to and followed it. His descriptions of the ordeals encountered by the forest fire fighters are first rate. He also describes the fight for conservation waged by Teddy Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, as TR's handpicked successor, Pres Taft, turned out not to be the progressive TR hoped he would be. The right-wing swing of the GOP evidently started with Taft. A map would have been a nice addition to this book.


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app06 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52