The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994 Page: 171
ronmental conservation movement is American society's response to the peo-
ple's uneasiness with the negative side of technological change, or "progress."
He describes what he calls the three disguises by which Americans try to develop
programs that will guarantee the "right" treatment of the land, arguments cen-
tered around efficiency, social welfare, and ecology. These disguises, he main-
tains, have made possible many of the successful conservation and
environmental programs that the nation enjoys today. If he is correct, perhaps
there is more support for the environmental movement among the populace
than generally believed.
Wallach takes the reader on a personal tour of some representative landscapes
in the United States, developing along the way his novel thesis: that the "right"
way to treat the land has always interested conservationists more than the effi-
cient way. Supporters of conservation have acted more out of emotion than ra-
tionality, although they hid that motivation even from themselves.
To the disguise of efficiency, Franklin Roosevelt added the disguise of social
welfare. Wallach asserts that "right use" of the land concerned supporters of
New Deal conservation programs more than did the welfare of the people for
whom these programs had, supposedly been designed. Roosevelt saw these pro-
grams as a way to hold back urbanization, that is, "industrial progress."
Modern environmentalist contributed the disguise of ecology. The latter, he
argues, "did not have to speak a word against a society whose direction they
doubted; instead, they could, and did, bog development down in litigation that
was nominally brought to ensure that undue harm was not done to the complex
machinery of life" (p. 62). Rachel Carson showed "preservationists how to use
science to oppose progress, how to tailor a new disguise" (p. 62).
Opposition to the Texas plan for importing water to the High Plains and ob-
jection to depletion of the waters in the Ogalalla Aquifer rested more on moral
than on economic considerations, Wallach argues, although this reviewer's re-
search indicates that without economic considerations the water plan probably
would have been funded.
Throughout this work Wallach shows that in a democracy forced planning is
often not only unworkable but deeply resented, and he also demonstrates that
the "experts" don't always know what is right. One might wonder, however, if the
majority of Americans would still support conservation and environmental pro-
grams should their defenders abandon economic and ecological arguments and
admit that they are idealistic moralists at heart.
University of North Texas J. B. SMALLWOOD, JR.
Agenda for Reform: Winthrop Rockefeller as Governor of Arkansas, z967-7z. By Cathy
Kunzinger Urwin. (Fayetteville: The University of Arkansas Press, 1991. Pp.
270. Acknowledgments, introduction, black-and-white photographs, notes,
bibliography, index. $25.00.)
Winthrop Rockefeller was, of course, the grandson of John D. Rockefeller,
founder of the Standard Oil Corporation. In 1953 he moved to Arkansas and
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page .
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 97, July 1993 - April, 1994, periodical, 1994; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117154/m1/199/ocr/: accessed December 11, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.