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Escaping the Dark, Gray CityFear and Hope in Progressive-Era Conservation$
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Benjamin Heber Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780300115505

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300115505.001.0001

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(p.246) Seven Epilogue
Escaping the Dark, Gray City

Benjamin Heber Johnson

Yale University Press

This epilogue analyzes how environmental reform hardly ceased by the end of the 1910s. While the general expansion of the environmental state at the federal level paused with the eclipse of Progressivism during World War I, and became more coercive and reliant on state power, there was no abrupt end to conservation. Americans still sought to address the concerns about artificiality and resource scarcity that had animated the movement. In the next decade, the crisis of Depression and the politics of the New Deal particularly brought a kind of rebirth to conservation. The chapter asserts that environmental problems are about people as much as nature. Any effective remediation will be a triumph of social justice as much as a reflection of respect for nature. A better society and better laws depend on better people, as Progressive activists and theorists so acutely observed.

Keywords:   environmental reform, Progressivism, conservation, state power, resource scarcity, Depression crisis, New Deal, social justice

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