The Quiet World:
Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom 1879-1960
By Douglas Brinkley
Published by Harper
Copyright © 2011
Alaska, the last frontier. How did Alaska become the last American wilderness frontier and remain so? Douglas Brinkley, Author of The Wilderness Warrior, chronologically recounts the words and actions of the many people who fought to save the last bit of unspoiled land left in this country.
Unless you are extremely interested in Alaska, as I am, this may seem like a very large boring book. Upon further inspection though, it opens up into a historical ride through our nation’s history and thought patterns with regards to our natural heritage. It presents to us the story of the many presidents, cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court Judges, Scientists, writers, and others who took a stand for the land. In it we also see the noble beginnings of such conservationist groups such as the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society. These groups and many more fought to save the glaciers, temperate rainforests, mountain peaks, and frozen tundra of Alaska along with all of its plants and wildlife.
The Quiet World has the ability induce reflection if you let it. It makes you ask yourself: Do I enjoy and respect the wild/natural places that are around me? Do I spend more time watching TV, playing video games, and surfing the net than I do enjoying the outdoors? Though I a huge proponent of conservation, I didn’t like the answer I had to give myself.
This book frames the eternal struggle between man and wilderness, greed and nature. Nature often loses this battle, but on rare occasions the good stand up and say enough. While many do not appreciate their actions in their time, how thankful we are now that we can still see bear, moose, eagles, caribou, and many other creatures patrolling their natural habitats undisturbed. There are few places left, especially on the east coast, where this can be done, but we still have wild Alaska.