Douglas Brinkley

Acclaimed CNN presidential historian Douglas Brinkley appeared at The Progressive Forum to discuss his book, Silent Spring Revolution: John F. Kennedy, Rachel Carson, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and the Great Environmental Awakening, at Congregation Emanu El in Houston, Texas, November 10, 2022.

SHORT: Rachel Carson publishes Silent Spring Revolution, the opening bell of the environmental movement, a book that changed history. (6:25)

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SHORT: Environmental movement created a conservative counter-swing to stop “Rachel Carsonism.” (2:22)

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SHORT: Rachel Carson’s self discovery and epiphany. A publishing phenom of ocean books. (3:50)

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SHORT: Theodore Roosevelt and the first environmental wave. The Forest Service, saving the Grand Canyon. Conservation as #1 priority of the progressive movement. (2:36)

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SHORT: Franklin Roosevelt, the second environmental wave. Born of the Hudson River, occupation "tree farmer." Created 800 state parks. The Civilian Conservation Corps paid unemployed men $1 a day, planted 3 billion trees. (2:00)


Douglas Brinkley is the Katherine Tsanoff Brown Chair in Humanities and professor of history at Rice University. He’s CNN presidential historian and contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Several of his books became New York Times bestsellers such as CronkiteRightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of AmericaThe Reagan DiariesThe Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast; and Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. Over the course of his conservation career, he has held board or advisory roles with the American Museum of Natural History, Yellowstone Park Foundation, National Audubon Society, and the Rockefeller-Roosevelt Conservation Roundtable. He has also taught at the U.S. Naval Academy, Princeton, Hofstra, the University of New Orleans, and Tulane. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Ohio State, and a master’s and PhD from Georgetown University. He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, Century Association, Society of American Historians, and the James Madison Council at the library of Congress. He lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife and three children.

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Thanks to photographer CJ Martin.

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