Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America

Time Period
1877 to 1924
1925 to Today
Media Type
Geography & Environment
Politics & Government
Douglas Brinkley

On June 7 at noon, Douglas Brinkley delivered Banner Lecture entitled “Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America.”

In Rightful Heritage, acclaimed historian Douglas Brinkley chronicles Franklin D. Roosevelt’s essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and premier protector of America’s public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. Pristine landscapes such as the Great Smokies, the Everglades, Joshua Tree, the Olympics, Big Bend, Channel Islands, Mammoth Cave, and the slickrock wilderness of Utah were forever saved by his leadership. Brinkley traces FDR’s love for the natural world from his youth exploring the Hudson River Valley and bird watching. As America’s president from 1933 to 1945, Roosevelt—consummate political strategist—established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern endangered species movement. Rightful Heritage is an epic chronicle that is both an irresistible portrait of FDR’s unrivaled passion and drive, and an indispensable analysis that skillfully illuminates the tension between business and nature—exploiting our natural resources and conserving them. Rightful Heritage is essential reading for everyone seeking to preserve our treasured landscapes as an American birthright.

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, bestselling and award-winning author, and presidential historian for CNN. He serves as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of numerous books—many of which have been bestsellers and New York Times Notable Books of the Year—including The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast (2006); The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America (2009); The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879–1960 (2011); Cronkite (2012); and his newest bestselling book, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America (2016).

The content and opinions expressed in these presentations are solely those of the speaker and not necessarily of the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.

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