The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America

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A New York Times Bestseller. A Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Entertainment Weekly, and Amazon Best Book of the Year.

A dramatic account of the worst forest fire in American history by the author of the National Book Award-winning The Worst Hard Time.

On the afternoon of August 20, 1910, a battering ram of wind moved through the drought-stricken national forest of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, whipping the hundreds of small blazes burning across the forest floor into a roaring inferno. Forest rangers had assembled nearly ten thousand men -- college boys, day workers, immigrants from mining camps -- to fight the fire. But no living person had seen anything like those flames, and neither the rangers nor anyone else knew how to subdue them.

Timothy Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched ranges against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force. Equally dramatic is the larger story he tells of outsize president Teddy Roosevelt ad his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citizen.

"An important cautionary tale for these days that also reads like a classic adventure story." -- Washington Times

Author: Timothy Egan
Publisher: Mariner Books
Published: 09/07/2010
Pages: 352
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 0.60lbs
Size: 8.10h x 5.30w x 1.10d
ISBN: 9780547394602
Age Range: 14-UP
Award: Washington State Book Award - Winner

Review Citation(s):
New York Times Book Review 09/26/2010 pg. 24

About the Author

TIMOTHY EGAN is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and the author of five books, most recently THE WORST HARD TIME, which won a National Book Award for nonfiction, as well as being named a New York Times Editor's Choice, a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington State Book Award Winner, and a Book Sense Book of the Year Honor Book. He writes a weekly column, Outposts, for the New York Times.