4323 2004

Home Test 1 Test 2 Final Bibliography

Nature & Americans:

The 1960s and the origins of environmentalism

Dr. Mark Stoll
Holden Hall 135 -- (806) 742-1004 ext. 250 -- mark.stoll@ttu.edu
Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:00 a.m.-Noon
Class Webpage: http://www2.tltc.ttu.edu/stoll/


Dig this Crazy Purpose of the Course:

This course seeks to explore the origins of the modern American environmental movement in the society, politics, and tumultuous events of the 1960s. Using lecture, discussion, readings, video, and music, the instructor will attempt to create the context within which modern environmental concerns and activism first arose. Environmentalism arose at the height of the Cold War crisis and, like the feminist and gay rights movements, achieved its greatest accomplishments after the civil rights and antiwar movements began to wind down. Students will focus on a particular leader, organization, or aspect of the environmental movement, and produce a research paper that puts that subject into the context of the era.


Far-Out Readings:

Hal Rothman, Greening of a Nation?: Environmentalism in the United States since 1945

Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Readings on Reserve:

Rome, Adam. "'Give Earth a Chance': The Environmental Movement and the Sixties." Journal of American History 90 (September, 2003): 525-554.

Harvey, Mark W. T. "Battle for Dinosaur: Echo Park Dam and the Birth of the Modern Wilderness Movement." Montana the Magazine of Western History 45 (Winter, 1995): 32-45.

Davis, Jack E. "'Conservation is Now a Dead Word': Marjory Stoneman Douglas and the Transformation of American Environmentalism." Environmental History 8 (January, 2003): 53-76.

Hays, Samuel P. "From Conservation to Environment: Environmental Politics in the United States since World War II." Environmental Review 6 (Fall, 1982): 14-41.

Lear, Linda J. "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring." Environmental History Review 17 (Summer, 1993): 23-48.

Lutts, Ralph H. "Chemical Fallout: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring , Radioactive Fallout, and the Environmental Movement." Environmental Review 9 (Fall, 1985): 211-225.

Garb, Yaakov. "Change and Continuity in Environmental World-View: The Politics of Nature in Rachel Carson's Silent Spring." In Minding Nature: The Philosophers of Ecology, edited by David Macauley. New York: Guilford Press, 1996. 229-256

Stoll, Mark. "Rachel Carson's Silent Spring in Europe and America: A Comparative View of its Reception and Impact"

Brick, Howard. Age of Contradiction: American Thought and Culture in the 1960s. New York: Twayne, 1998: Chapter 6, "Systems and the Distrust of Order"

Sundquist, James L. Politics and Policy: The Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson Years. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 1968: Chapter 8, "For All, a Better Outdoor Environment."

Webb, Melody. "Parks for People: Lyndon Johnson and the National Park System." In Frontier and Region: Essays in Honor of Martin Ridge, edited by Robert C. Ritchie and Paul Andrew Hutton. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997. 121-137

Gould, Lewis L. "Lady Bird Johnson and Beautification." In The Johnson Years, Volume Two: Vietnam, the Environment, and Science, edited by Robert A. Divine. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987. 150-180

Melosi, Martin V. "Lyndon Johnson and Environmental Policy." In The Johnson Years, Volume Two: Vietnam, the Environment, and Science, edited by Robert A. Divine. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1987. 113-149

White, Lynn, Jr. "The Historical Roots of Our Ecologic Crisis." Science 155: 3767 (10 March 1967):1203-12.

Hardin, Garrett. "The Tragedy of the Commons." Science 162 (December 13, 1968):1243-1248; also available at <http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/index.html>

Feenberg, Andrew. "The Commoner-Ehrlich Debate: Environmentalism and the Politics of Survival." In Minding Nature: The Philosophers of Ecology, edited by David Macauley. New York: Guilford Press, 1996. 257-282

Kirk, Andrew. "Appropriating Technology: The Whole Earth Catalog and Counterculture Environmental Politics." Environmental History 6 (July, 2001): 374-394.

Barrow, John C. "An Age of Limits: Jimmy Carter and the Quest for a National Energy Policy." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. 158-178

Stine, Jeffrey K. "Environmental Policy during the Carter Presidency." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998. 179-201


Groovy Details:

This is a writing-intensive course. Students will take two midterms and a final exam. In addition, students will write an analytical book report on a book they choose from a bibliography of postwar environmental history available at the class Website; and they will write one research paper on a subject relating to the history of the postwar environmental movement.

Analytical Book Report: Students will select a book on environmental history from a bibliography linked to the course Website. Students may select another book if the professor approves it. 1000-1500 words in length, the book review will have three sections:

  1. 1. A short summary (not a table of contents or outline) of the book's contents; this should not take more than a paragraph or two
  2. 2. An explanation of the book's thesis, with a discussion of how the author has supported the thesis. The thesis is usually stated in a preface, introduction, or conclusion. If you're not sure what a book's thesis is, ask the professor for help.
  3. 3. Most important, an analysis of the book, including its success (or lack of success) in supporting its thesis, the author's bias or point of view, whether it agrees or disagrees with other class material, how it might be improved, how well it is written, and whether you agree with the book's conclusions.

Research Paper: Students will research and write a paper of 3000-4000 words on a topic of their choice. In frequent consultation with the professor, students will master the secondary literature and dig up primary sources on their chosen subject. Students may write on one of the topics below, or come up with a subject on their own in consultation with the professor. Some possible topics include:

bulletEarth Day
bulletA Presidential administration and the environment
bulletLady Bird Johnson and the environment
bulletScience fiction and the environment
bulletThe origins of the EPA or other major legislation or government agency
bulletThe Rockefellers and the environment
bulletEnvironmental themes in popular music
bulletA major environmentalist such as David Brower, Barry Commoner, or Paul Ehrlich
bulletAn environmental organization, such as the Sierra Club, the Nature Conservancy, or other
bulletThe Storm King controversy, or environmental litigation
bulletThe writing or reception of Silent Spring
bulletThe impact of The Population Bomb, The Closing Circle, Limits to Growth, Small is Beautiful, Ecotopia, or other important book
bulletResources for the Future
bulletThe Republican or Democratic Party and the environment
bulletThe oil crisis
bulletLove Canal or other toxic waste controversy
bulletThe anti-nuclear-power movement
bulletThe battle against a specific nuclear power plant, such as Seacaucus
bulletNuclear bombs and the environment
bulletThe Vietnam War and the environment
bulletThe relationship of the environmental movement to society or to other movements (antiwar, feminism, etc.)
bulletThe battle against a dam, such as Echo Park, Grand Canyon, or Tellico
bulletThe controversy over DDT or pesticides
bulletThe rise of the organic farming movement
bulletThe counterculture and the environment
bulletThe back-to-the-land movement
bulletMinorities and the environment
bulletThe Santa Barbara oil spill
bulletOne aspect of the fight against air or water pollution
bulletThe energy crisis
bulletThe "Sagebrush Rebellion" and public lands
bulletControversy over the cross-Florida canal, the Florida airport, or another major development

Grading: The final grade will be calculated on the following basis:

bullet15% Each midterm exam
bullet20% Final exam
bullet15% Book report
bullet35% Research paper

Students may optionally submit a re-write of their research papers, due at the Final Exam, and the average of the grades of the two papers will be entered as the grade for the paper.

Plagiarism: Using text written by someone else (even in a close paraphrase) without clear and unambiguous acknowledgment is academic dishonesty and will result in an "F" for the course.

Attendance: The professor will call roll at the beginning of each class. Students with a perfect attendance record will receive three bonus points on their final grades. Students with more than two absences will receive one point off their final grades for each absence over two. The instructor will accept excuses in cases of true need if appropriately documented.


Schedule of Happenings:

Jan. 15



Placing Environmentalism into Context
Discussion: Rome, "'Give Earth a Chance'"


Postwar America


Cold War, Korea, Arms Race, and Spies


Return of Prosperity: Society and Culture in the 1950s

Feb.  3

Cold War and McCarthyism
Analytical Book Report Due


Reawakening of Postwar Conservationism
Discussion: Rothman, Greening of a Nation?, Introduction, ch. 1; Harvey


The Civil Rights Movement and Cultural Discontent


The Transition from Conservation to Environmentalism
Discussion: Rothman, ch. 2; Davis, Hays


Exam 1


Rise of environmental concern in the 1950s


Guest lecturer: Christian Pfister, University of Bern, Switzerland:
"The Fifties Syndrome: Energy Cost and the Rise of Consumer Society"


"A New Generation": Kennedy at Home and Abroad

Mar.  2

Discussion: Carson, Silent Spring


Discussion: Lear, Lutts, Garb, Stoll, Brick


Johnson, the Great Society, and the Environment
Discussion: Rothman, ch. 3; Webb; Gould; Melosi


Dams, Water, and the Environmental Movement
Video: "Cadillac Desert: The American Nile"


Spring Break


Late '60s Society and Culture, and the Crises of Vietnam and the Cities


Cultural and Political Discontent: SDS, hippies, Yippies, women's lib, gay lib, Black Power
Discussion: Rothman, ch. 4


Crisis Environmentalism
Discussion: White, Hardin, Feenberg

Apr.  1

Exam 2


Nixon's America


Earth Day and the triumph of political environmentalism, 1969-1973
Discussion: Rothman, ch. 5; Kirk




Limits to Growth, oil crisis, and the end of the boom years
Discussion: Rothman, ch. 6


Society and culture in the 1970s: "The Me Decade"?
Research Paper Due


Jimmy Carter and the Politics of Limits
Discussion: Barrow, Stine


A New Era: Reagan and the Environmentalists
Discussion: Rothman,  ch. 7-8


Concluding Discussion

May  7

7:30-10:00 Final Exam

Note: Students who, because of a disabling condition, may require some special arrangements in order to meet course requirements should contact the instructor as soon as possible to make necessary accommodations. Students should present appropriate verification from the Disabled Students Services in the Dean of Students Office.

The professor reserves the right to change this syllabus at his discretion. Changes will be announced in class and posted at the Web address listed above.

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