New book by Douglas Brinkley chronicles the fight for Alaska's wilderness

Historian and prolific author Douglas Brinkley has topped bestseller lists with his unique explorations of American history, spanning topics as diverse as the life of Rosa Parks, Henry Ford and his company, and Hurricane Katrina.

Brinkley’s latest work, The Quiet World: Saving Alaska's Wilderness Kingdom, 1879-1960, brings Brinkley’s skill and passion to the history of the conservation movement in Alaska and the unique individuals who fought to preserve Alaska’s wilderness.

The Quiet World surveys eight decades of conservation in Alaska, from John Muir’s  excursions in Southeast Alaska to the battle for Alaska’s statehood and the creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In this detailed trek through Alaska’s history, Brinkley describes and celebrates the community of conservationists who recognized the value of Alaska’s unique wild places and dedicated their lives to protecting them.

 On the January 24th episode of MSNBC’s news program Morning Joe, Brinkley described the history of these committed conservationists as a deeply American story. He cited Bob Marshall, a lifelong wilderness activist and founder of The Wilderness Society, as part of the community of “unusual Americans” who had the foresight and courage to preserve the wilderness they loved for future generations.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS Headquarters.Brinkley said that the work of these early activists continues today—in the struggle to keep oil companies out of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, protect wildlife from the effects of global warming, and prevent offshore oil exploration.

In the spirit of Bob Marshall and other activists chronicled in The Quiet World, The Wilderness Society continues to fight for Alaska’s wild places. From defending the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to promoting solutions to old logging struggles, we are working to protect this last, great, wild frontier.

- Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by USFWS Headquarters.