Battles of the North Country
Wilderness Politics and Recreational Development in the Adirondack State Park, 1920-1980
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Through a series of case studies, historian Jonathan D. Anzalone highlights the role of public and private interests in the region and shows how partnerships frayed and realigned in the course of several key developments: the rise of camping in the 1920s and 1930s; the 1932 Lake Placid Olympics; the construction of a highway to the top of Whiteface Mountain; the postwar rise of downhill skiing; the completion of I-87 and the resulting demand for second homes; and the 1980 Lake Placid Olympics. Battles of the North Country reveals how class, economic self-interest, state power, and a wide range of environmental concerns have shaped modern politics in the Adirondacks and beyond.
"Anzalone skillfully describes complex legal, political, and real estate issues, presenting them as an engaging story of the evolving conflict between environmental protection and development interests."—James C. O’Connell, author of The Hub’s Metropolis: Greater Boston’s Development from Railroad Suburbs to Smart Growth
"Anzalone’s strength is a capacity for depicting all sides in the controversy around development clearly and dispassionately and in a broader context of regional economic stagnation and remoteness from centers of entrepreneurial opportunity."—Richard W. Judd, author of Second Nature: An Environmental History of New England
"In this engagingly written book, Anzalone explores the efforts of residents, environmentalists, state officials, and developers to shape the ecology and economy of the Adirondacks. His case studies reveal uncomfortable truths about the economic limitations of recreational development in one of America’s most contested and beautiful landscapes."—David Soll, author of Empire of Water: An Environmental and Political History of the New York City Water Supply