The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale
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The companion volume to the twelve-hour PBS series from the acclaimed filmmaker behind The Civil War, Baseball, and The War.

America’s national parks spring from an idea as radical as the Declaration of Independence: that the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places should be preserved, not for royalty or the rich, but for everyone. In this evocative and lavishly illustrated narrative, Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan delve into the history of the park idea, from the first sighting by white men in 1851 of the valley that would become Yosemite and the creation of the world’s first national park at Yellowstone in 1872, through the most recent additions to a system that now encompasses nearly four hundred sites and 84 million acres.

The authors recount the adventures, mythmaking, and intense political battles behind the evolution of the park system, and the enduring ideals that fostered its growth. They capture the importance and splendors of the individual parks: from Haleakala in Hawaii to Acadia in Maine, from Denali in Alaska to the Everglades in Florida, from Glacier in Montana to Big Bend in Texas. And they introduce us to a diverse cast of compelling characters—both unsung heroes and famous figures such as John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, and Ansel Adams—who have been transformed by these special places and committed themselves to saving them from destruction so that the rest of us could be transformed as well.

The National Parks
is a glorious celebration of an essential expression of American democracy.

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Joseph J. Ellis Reviews The National Parks

Educated at the College of William and Mary and Yale University, Joseph J. Ellis is a Ford Foundation Professor of History at Mount Holyoke College. His Founding Brothers won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001, and American Sphinx earned the 1997 National Book Award. His latest work, American Creation, was published in 2007. Read Ellis''s exclusive Amazon guest review of The National Parks: America''s Best Idea:

If Ken Burns’s upcoming documentary film on America’s National Parks is as good as the book laying open before me, he has another huge winner. Of course the book, entitled The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, is intended as a companion to the film, but as I see it--literally--the book permits the eye and mind to linger over the truly breathtaking pictures in a more meditative way that film does not allow. The result is almost elegiac, producing the same kind of goose bumps that Burns created in his early work on the Brooklyn Bridge and the Civil War.

Burns has been chronicling the American experience for over thirty years, and I think it’s fair to say that no one has influenced more living Americans to think about our history as a people and a nation. His dominant themes have been space and race, his persistent question deceptively simple: who are we? I think The National Parks is his masterpiece on the space theme. And the message that kept whispering to me in these pages was that whoever we are has been decisively shaped by the sheer physicality of the continent we inhabit.

It never occurred to me before, but Americans invented the idea institutionalized in our National Parks. Namely, as Burns puts it in the introduction, “for the first time in human history, land--great sections of our natural landscape--was set aside, not for kings or noblemen or the very rich, but for everyone, for all time.” As once observed, and the book’s subtitle echoes, this may have been “America’s best idea.” Burns links the idea to Jefferson’s magic words in the Declaration of Independence (i.e. “We hold these truths...”), our quasi-sacred text on human freedom, which takes on an almost spiritual resonance amidst the vistas of Yosemite or Yellowstone.

, Burns''s longtime colleague, has provided most of the text, which is designed to cast a spell that matches the wonder of the stunning illustrations. The book looks luxurious and feels expensive, but this visit to the National Parks is a great deal.--Joseph J. Ellis

(Photo © Jim Gipe)


Look Inside The National Parks

Click on thumbnails for larger images


From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Duncan and Burns, who last teamed on Horatio''s Drive: America''s First Road Trip, rejoin in this visually stunning guide to the unforgettable landscapes and fascinating history of America''s national parks. A companion to the documentary miniseries, this book provides not only an armchair tour of the parks but lessons in American history and biography, as Duncan and Burns attempt to answer the question, "Who are we?" through the foundation and legacy of American conservation. From Yellowstone, the first national park, to Acadia to the Everglades, readers will learn the origins of many of the parks, monuments, and historic areas across the U.S., illustrated with more than a century''s worth of photographs. A recurring theme throughout history has been the value and purpose of conservation and beauty, versus utility and tourism, and the story of the parks brings it into brilliant focus; readers will meet characters like John Muir, Horace Albright, Stephen Mather, Adolph Murie, and others who helped create the existing park system (with no shortage of attention paid to Theodore Roosevelt). Likely to inspire adventure-seekers of all generations, this broad, deep, evocative survey is just the kind of volume readers have come to expect from filmmaker and cultural historian Burns.

From Booklist

This large-sized, lavishly illustrated book accompanies a 12-hour PBS series by Burns, who has made such remarkable documentaries as The Civil War, Baseball, and The War, and by Duncan, Burns’ collaborator in producing documentaries and accompanying texts. Approximately 400 current sites are designated national parks in this country; the point of the series and the book is to document the history of the national park system as well as the history of individual parks. As cited here, national parks were an “invention” by Americans; the concept of setting aside large tracts of land for public use arose in the U.S. The works of various individuals that stood behind the creation of the park system are detailed and celebrated. Adamant that this book is not a tour guide but a history of a vastly important trend and feature of American civic and ecological thinking and planning, the authors nevertheless have done a great service in arousing reader and viewer interest in making some travel plans. --Brad Hooper

Review

Praise for the PBS series:

“Stunning and restorative, like the parks themselves.” —Timothy Egan, The New York Times

“A masterful historic document, a vivid portrait of the land set against the stories of those who worked to acquire it and then protect it against those who still would dismantle or compromise it.” —David Hinckley, New York Daily News

“Beautiful and erudite . . . Underneath its wonder, The National Parks is really about how Americans learned (or failed to learn) proper stewardship of nature.” —Hank Stuever, The Washington Post

About the Author

Dayton Duncan, writer and producer of The National Parks, is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker. His nine other books include, with Ken Burns, Horatio’s Drive and Lewis & Clark. He has collaborated on all of Ken Burns’s films for twenty years as a writer, producer, and consultant. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire. Ken Burns, director and producer of The National Parks, founded his own documentary company, Florentine Films, in 1976. His films include The War, Jazz, Baseball, and The Civil War, which was the highest-rated series in the history of American public television. His work has won numerous prizes, including the Emmy and Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award nominations. He received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award in 2008. He lives in Walpole, New Hampshire.

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4.7 out of 54.7 out of 5
599 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Richard Wagner
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great for the history of the National Parks, not for their natural beauty
Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2019
Ten years after it first came out, "The National Parks: America’s Best Idea" remains hands down the best book about the history of the National Parks. Like in the TV series of the same title that it follows almost word for word, the story is very well told. The collection... See more
Ten years after it first came out, "The National Parks: America’s Best Idea" remains hands down the best book about the history of the National Parks. Like in the TV series of the same title that it follows almost word for word, the story is very well told. The collection of vintage pictures in black and white is remarkable. This reference work is a must have for any park lover.

However, you should know that it is not a book about the natural beauty of the National Parks. While it features about 60 scenic color pictures by QT Luong, they are dully printed on thin matte paper. Since then, the photographer has published Treasured Lands: A Photographic Odyssey Through America''s National Parks, Second Expanded Edition - with a foreword by Dayton Duncan and an endorsement from Ken Burns. It contains no historical material, but its 600+ pictures exquisitely printed on glossy art paper, resulting in a book physically twice as thick although only 80 pages more , finally do justice to the beauty of the National Parks.
72 people found this helpful
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happycamper
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Captivating History, A Truly Great Read!
Reviewed in the United States on September 21, 2017
I finished this book feeling very knowledgeable about the national parks. It contains history of the major people and events that created and formed our parks to become what they are today. The book was written extremely well and was yet easy to read. I truly felt like I... See more
I finished this book feeling very knowledgeable about the national parks. It contains history of the major people and events that created and formed our parks to become what they are today. The book was written extremely well and was yet easy to read. I truly felt like I was in the parks with John Muir and Stephen Mather, it was that good. The scenic pictures were beautiful and captured the essence of each park and the historic photos were equally intriguing.

There was a lot more information on parks like Yellowstone and Yosemite and almost nothing on others, which was a little disappointing. But, I can see that this needed to be done to cover the National Park idea as a whole. The way the book was laid out was slightly confusing. The dates kept jumping back and forth and it would be hard to pinpoint a certain topic if you wanted. But, the pros to this book far outweigh these couple cons.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the history behind the parks and I would read it again.
18 people found this helpful
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Melissa R
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
making it the perfect coffee table book for anyone who enjoys exploring our ...
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2017
This book is full of breathtaking images, making it the perfect coffee table book for anyone who enjoys exploring our beautiful country and its national parks.
16 people found this helpful
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Tom Kennett
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Goes along with the DVDs
Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2018
Information needed to understand and appreciate why the National Parks are important for our legacy is provided in a clear and concise manner. An important read in an era when the parks are under political attack.
7 people found this helpful
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Meredith
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect colorful addition to coffee table book collections
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2018
It was a little smaller than I was picturing but that is on me bc the dimensions are clearly provided, just note it is smaller than the typical coffee table book. The colorful touch is fun, and it celebrates such a wonderful topic. Definitely add to your collection!
6 people found this helpful
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Michelle
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Stunning depiction of National Park History
Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2017
If you are interested in the National Parks in the US, this book is a must have. Ken Burns did a phenomenal job with the story and photography. The DVD series by Ken Burns is fascinating and very interesting to watch if you like history. It should be a must see for high... See more
If you are interested in the National Parks in the US, this book is a must have. Ken Burns did a phenomenal job with the story and photography. The DVD series by Ken Burns is fascinating and very interesting to watch if you like history. It should be a must see for high school kids learning the history of our country.
9 people found this helpful
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MaryEllen B.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Everything one can expect from Ken Burns
Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2019
This is a beautifully written and illustrated book. I am glad to own any book related to Ken Burns'' film work. If you have been to a national park you will recognize it again in these photographs; if you haven''t been you will want to go.
4 people found this helpful
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Rebecca
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing book!
Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2016
This book is amazing! I''ve never seen the national parks film by Ken Burns, but after getting this book, I can''t wait to! It is wonderfully done with breathtaking photos, interesting interviews, and so much history! My children and I are studying the National Parks this... See more
This book is amazing! I''ve never seen the national parks film by Ken Burns, but after getting this book, I can''t wait to! It is wonderfully done with breathtaking photos, interesting interviews, and so much history! My children and I are studying the National Parks this year for school, and I couldn''t have made a better investment for a learning resource!
8 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Christine Davis
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The National Parks of America
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2013
I bought this as a gift for my husband for Christmas as we have visited a couple of the parks. He loved it. The photography is superb but the history was more relevant for him. Would recommend it.
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Susan T
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
an excellent history of US national parks
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 12, 2013
Bought this for our son, who wanted a well-illustrated history and overview of US national parks. This book fits the bill admirably. Have read other books by these authors and they''re always interesting.
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LindyLou
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent gift for the avid reader
Reviewed in Canada on December 8, 2020
Chock full of infomation and pictures.
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The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale

The National online sale Parks: America's Best 2021 Idea online sale