Oblong Online: Megan Kate Nelson, SAVING YELLOWSTONE

Event date: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
EST via Zoom

In conversation with Alex Wolf, Scenic Hudson.

Missed the event? WATCH IT HERE

Megan Kate Nelson's Saving Yellowstone is a grand narrative of adventure and exploration, and also a story of Indigenous resistance, the expansive reach of railroad, photographic, and publishing technologies, and the struggles of Black southerners to bring racial terrorists to justice. It reveals how the early 1870s were a turning point in the nation’s history, as white Americans ultimately abandoned the higher ideal of equality for all people, creating a much more fragile and divided United States.

Megan Kate NelsonSaving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America, by Megan Kate NelsonAlex Wolf, Scenic Hudson

Megan Kate Nelson is a writer and historian living in Lincoln, Massachusetts. She has written about the Civil War, US western history, and American culture for The New York TimesThe Washington PostSmithsonian MagazinePreservation Magazine, and Civil War Monitor. Nelson earned her BA in history and literature from Harvard University and her PhD in American studies from the University of Iowa, and she has taught at Texas Tech University, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, and Brown. Nelson is the author of Saving Yellowstone, The Three-Cornered War, Ruin Nation, and Trembling Earth.
Alex Wolf is the Conservation Scientist for the regional land trust and environmental advocacy organization Scenic Hudson.  With a background in wildlife ecology and conservation, he has worked around the country in some of our nation's most remote and storied National Parks and wildernesses, including a season studying amphibians in Yellowstone National Park.  His current work focuses on the intersection of natural resources and community resilience in the face of climate change in the Hudson Valley.
Author image credit Sharona Jacobs.

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Saving Yellowstone: Exploration and Preservation in Reconstruction America By Megan Kate Nelson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982141332
Availability: Available in our Warehouse: Usually Ships in 3-8 Days
Published: Scribner - March 1st, 2022

Each year nearly four million people visit Yellowstone National Park—one of the most popular of all national parks—but few know the fascinating and complex historical context in which it was established. In late July 1871, the geologist-explorer Ferdinand Hayden led a team of scientists through a narrow canyon into Yellowstone Basin, entering one of the last unmapped places in the country. The survey’s discoveries led to the passage of the Yellowstone Act in 1872, which created the first national park in the world.

Now, author Megan Kate Nelson examines the larger context of this American moment, illuminating Hayden’s survey as a national project meant to give Americans a sense of achievement and unity in the wake of a destructive civil war. Saving Yellowstone follows Hayden and two other protagonists in pursuit of their own agendas: Sitting Bull, a Lakota leader who asserted his peoples’ claim to their homelands, and financier Jay Cooke, who wanted to secure his national reputation by building the Northern Pacific Railroad through the Great Northwest. Hayden, Cooke, and Sitting Bull staked their claims to Yellowstone at a critical moment in Reconstruction, when the Grant Administration and the 42nd Congress were testing the reach and the purpose of federal power across the nation.

The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West By Megan Kate Nelson Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501152559
Availability: Available in our Warehouse: Usually Ships in 3-8 Days
Published: Scribner - February 16th, 2021