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Sarah Mittlefehldt: Tangled Roots - The Appalachian Trail & American Environmental Politics (Burlington)
11/21/2013 7:00 pm
Join Sarah Mittlefehldt to explore the rich history of the Appalachian Trail - and to hear some anecdotes from her 3,000-mile-long honeymoon hike of the trail! Sarah's new book is entitled Tangled Roots: The Appalachian Trail and American Environmental Politics.
The evening will also include a free performance by Mittlefeldht and John Gillette, who have been described by Robert Resnik as "accomplished on a truckful of instruments, and sound[ing] as though they’ve been playing original, soulful acoustic music for much longer than the term 'Americana' has been around." The program will include songs that were written while hiking the Appalachian trail, as well as ones that relate to the themes of Tangled Roots.
About the book:
The Appalachian Trail, a thin ribbon of wilderness running through the densely populated eastern United States, offers a refuge from modern society and a place apart from human ideas and institutions. But as environmental historian and thru-hiker Sarah Mittlefehldt argues, the trail is also a conduit for community engagement and a model for public-private cooperation and environmental stewardship.
In Tangled Roots, Mittlefehldt tells the story of the trail’s creation. The project was one of the first in which the National Park Service attempted to create public wilderness space within heavily populated, privately owned lands. Originally a regional grassroots endeavor, under federal leadership the trail project retained unprecedented levels of community involvement. As citizen volunteers came together and entered into conversation with the National Parks Service, boundaries between “local” and “nonlocal,” “public” and “private,” “amateur” and “expert” frequently broke down. Today, as Mittlefehldt tells us, the Appalachian Trail remains an unusual hybrid of public and private efforts and an inspiring success story of environmental protection.
Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFyhuGqbCGc
Sarah Mittlefehldt is assistant professor of environmental studies at Green Mountain College.
Pictured above: Sarah Mittlefehldt and John Gillette on top of Mount Katahdin. The couple spent ten months of intensive field research for this book while through-hiking the Appalachian Trail. Photo: Michael “5 String” Hawkins.
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