Cover image for Myth and history in the creation of Yellowstone National Park
Myth and history in the creation of Yellowstone National Park
Schullery, Paul.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
xv, 125 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
F722 .S375 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
F722 .S375 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Yellowstone National Park, a global icon of conservation and natural beauty, was born at the most improbable of times: the American Gilded Age, when altruism seemed extinct and society's vision seemed focused solely on greed and growth. Perhaps that is why the park's "creation myth" recounted how a few saintlike pioneer conservationists labored to set aside this unique wilderness against all odds, when in fact, the establishment of Yellowstone was the result of complex social, scientific, economic, and aesthetic forces. Paul Schullery and Lee Whittlesey, both longtime students of Yellowstone's complex history, present the first full account of how the fairy-tale origins of the park found universal public acceptance, and of the long process by which the myth was reconsidered and replaced with a more realistic and ultimately more satisfying story.

Author Notes

Paul Schullery is the author of many books on the American West, including Searching for Yellowstone and Old Yellowstone Days . He wrote and narrated the PBSnbsp;film Yellowstone: America's Sacred Wilderness and is currently scholar-in-residence at Montana State University Library. Lee Whittlesey is park historian for the National Park Service at Yellowstone National Park. He is the author of several books, most recently Ho! for Wonderland: Travelers' Accounts of Yellowstone, 1872-1914 and A Yellowstone Album: A Photographic Celebration of the First National Park .

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 In Camp That Nightp. 1
Chapter 2 A Rather Unusual Discussionp. 6
Chapter 3 On the Documentary Trail from Madison Junctionp. 13
Chapter 4 Coming to Terms with Nathaniel Langfordp. 22
Chapter 5 Altruists and Realistsp. 30
Chapter 6 Spreading the Wordp. 35
Chapter 7 The Debatep. 43
Chapter 9 Leaving It All Behindp. 73
Chapter 10 Myth and Responsibilityp. 81
Conclusion: Campfire Lessonsp. 92
Appendix: Known and Reported Accounts of the Washburn Expeditionp. 99
Notesp. 103
Indexp. 121