Nature's New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Enviromental Movement

Research output: Book/ReportBook

146 Scopus citations


The Great Depression coincided with a wave of natural disasters, including the Dust Bowl and devastating floods along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. Recovering from the calamities was a major goal of the New Deal. This book examines the history of one of Franklin D. Roosevelt's most successful experiments, the Civilian Conservation Corps, describing it as a turning point both in national politics and in the emergence of modern environmentalism. Indeed, Roosevelt addressed both the economic and environmental crises by putting Americans to work at conserving natural resources, through the Soil Conservation Service, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). The CCC created public landscapes-natural terrain altered by federal work projects-that helped environmentalism blossom after World War II. Millions of American devoted themselves to a new vision of conservation, one that went beyond the old model of simply maximizing the efficient use of natural resources, to include the promotion of human health through outdoor recreation, wilderness preservation, and ecological balance. And yet, as the book explores the rise and development of the CCC, it also shows how the critique of its campgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, and motor roads framed the debate over environmentalism to this day.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages320
ISBN (Electronic)9780199867820
ISBN (Print)9780195306019
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Arts and Humanities


  • Ccc
  • Civilian Conservation Corps
  • Conservation
  • Environmental History
  • Environmentalism
  • Franklin Roosevelt
  • Landscape
  • New Deal
  • Politics


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