Reckless: The Political Assault on the American Environment

Bob Deans. Rowman & Littlefield, $9.95 trade paper (128p) ISBN 978-1-4422-1797-3
Following 2007's The River Where America Began: A Journey Along the James, Deans focuses his historian's lens on the degradation of environmental protection measures following the Republicans assuming control of the House of Representatives in 2010. Taking note of contemporary shifts in the GOP—spurred on by Tea Party candidates and corporate campaign contributions—he contrasts the recent environmental assault from the Right with the significant environmental regulations supported by past conservative presidents such as Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln. Focusing on threats to land, air, and water, Deans' research exposes the influence of lobbyists and campaign supporters on voting outcomes. He cites multiple instances when public health and environmental protections lost out to corporate interests, as in West Virginia, where coal mining pollutes Appalachian creeks, or in the Chesapeake Bay, where run-off disturbs fisheries. The strength in Deans' work emerges when he debunks the false claim that a healthy economy is hampered by environmental regulation; in fact, he argues cogently that such regulations promote growth and increase competitiveness. While Deans' inconsistent tone is sometimes distracting and parts of his text beg for graphic illustration, he succeeds in "stand[ing] up to the influence of money in politics" and in issuing a fact-filled call for bipartisan support of environmental protection initiatives. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 09/10/2012
Release date: 04/01/2012
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 128 pages - 978-1-4422-1798-0
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