The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

the story, located the few Stilwell letters that exist, and carefully used
other studies that tell parts of the promotional activities of Silwell. The
book is worth reading by the specialist and should be on the required
reading list of anyone interested in southwestern history.
Fort Hays Kansas State College JAMES L. FORSYTHE
The Passing of the Great West: Selected Papers of George Bird Grinnell.
Edited by John F. Reiger. (New York: Winchester Press, 1972. Pp.
182. Illustrations, notes, bibliography, index. $8.95.)
With all of the justifiable concern over the environment boiling
around us, The Passing of the Great West is a most welcome addition to
the literature of the West. This book incorporates much previously pub-
lished, but widely scattered, material. George Bird Grinnell has been
known for a long time to those interested in ornithology (he founded
the Audubon Society), ethnology of the American Indian, hunting, and
conservation (he was longtime editor of the powerful Forest and
Stream); however, on the whole his influence has been largely ignored
by most scholars. The reader will discover that the maudlin sentimental-
ity which attends so much of the present-day activities in ecology was
largely absent from Grinnell's writings. In the 1918 edition of American
Duck Shooting he wrote, "Conservation has become a popular cry-even
a political shibboleth." While an avid believer in conservation of the en-
vironment, he also was an avid hunter for sport and meat, and believed
that both conservationists and hunters could play a contributory role in
a managed ecology.
Reiger points out that Grinnell was one of the first to speak out offi-
cially against the wanton destruction of all large game, not just buffalo,
as well as the careless burning of large stands of virgin timber. If later
generations ignored all of his other activities and concentrated only on
his exploration of areas which later became parks, they would still be
in Grinnell's debt. He helped to explore and describe Yellowstone Na-
tional Park and fought to protect its boundaries. Also, he explored and
described (in popular magazines and scientific literature) what are
today Rocky Mountain and Glacier national parks. While he had
nothing to do with the establishment of Yellowstone, Grinnell had great
influence on Theodore Roosevelt, who set aside vast tracts of parklands.
Grinnell's evaluation of the people he met on the frontier is one of
the highlights of the book. Custer, although evidently not disliked by


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 76, July 1972 - April, 1973. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 29, 2014.