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BOOK LIST:

Environment: Biographies

Updated: December 15, 2023

Biographies of people who have made planet earth a better place for everyone.


Book cover for Astrid Lindgren: The Woman Behind Pippi Longstocking
Astrid Lindgren: The Woman Behind Pippi Longstocking
Andersen, Jens
Call Number: 839.73 L745An

Pippi Longstocking is one of those very memorable fictional characters in children's literature. She was created by Astrid Lindgren, a country girl who moved to the big city. She overcame the stigma of being a single mother, financial hardship, depression, the terrors of World War II, and eventually became a leader in modern Swedish children’s literature. She also became involved in politcs and campaigned for equitable taxation, non-discrimination, animal rights and environmental issues. She was presented with the Right Livelihood Award, "For her commitment to justice, non-violence and understanding of minorities as well as her love and caring for nature."


Book cover for Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman
Beatrix Potter: Artist, Storyteller and Countrywoman
Taylor, Judy
Call Number: 823 P866Ta

In her day, Beatrix Potter was expected to marry and be a good wife, but she had other notions about all of that. Her family attempted to block her from publishing books, and tried to arrange a suitable marriage. Overcoming family pressure, she published the first of many books for children. The most famous is The tale of Peter Rabbit. As a countrywoman she was a major conservationist in the Lake District of England, helping to maintain the landscape and farming practices of the region. She acquired over 4,000 acres of hill-farm property that she bequeathed to the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty.


Book cover for Grandma Gatewood's walk : the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail
Grandma Gatewood's walk : the inspiring story of the woman who saved the Appalachian Trail
Montgomery, Ben.
Call Number: 796.01 G259Mo

Emma Gatewood, aka Grandma Gatewood, was the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail alone, and she did it when she was a great grandmother and 67-years-old. That first trek in 1995 brought her public attention, but more importantly to her way of thinking, it brought attention to the neglected and little-known Appalachian Trail.


Book cover for Grinnell : America's environmental pioneer and his restless drive to save the West
Grinnell : America's environmental pioneer and his restless drive to save the West
Taliaferro, John, 1952-
Call Number: 570.92 T146Ta

This incisive biography brings deserved recognition to the overlooked life and achievements of George Bird Grinnell, a major American conservationist.


Book cover for Hiding in plain sight : Lady Bird Johnson in the White House
Hiding in plain sight : Lady Bird Johnson in the White House
Sweig, Julia
Call Number: 92 J6754Sw

Lady Bird Johnson was wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who came into office as the result of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Lady Bird was one of the most astute First Ladies, who was a staunch environmentalist, possessing an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the greater ramifications of environmentalism that included numerous socioeconomic factors. Because of the times in which she lived and worked, her program was promoted as a beautification program, but it was a great deal more, as was the woman behind the program.


Book cover for Horizon
Horizon
Lopez, Barry Holstun, 1945-
Call Number: 810.92 L864-1

Barry Lopez was a notable essayist, novelist and nature writer. His autobiography charts his travels to six different regions of the world reflecting on humanity's quest for adventure and knowledge. Always contemplative, Lopez looks for meaning in our fragile and fragmenting world.


Nature's allies : eight conservationists who changed our world
Nielsen, Larry A., 1948-
Call Number: 339.09 N669

Some of the eight conservationists are familiar, and others are not: John Muir, Ding Darling, Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Chico Mendes, Billy Frank Jr., Wangari Maathai, and Gro Harlem Brundtland. Each of them has made life-changing contributions to the environment that all of us inhabit, and made it a better place for everyone.


Book cover for Oil and honey : the education of an unlikely activist
Oil and honey : the education of an unlikely activist
McKibben, Bill.
Call Number: 628.0973 M158

Environmentalist Bill McKibben has been an activist, researcher, protestor and writer, who has been warning us about climate change for more than 25 years. He provides understandable information for those new to the subject matter and details his personal growth as an environmentalist.


Book cover for On a farther shore : the life and legacy of Rachel Carson
On a farther shore : the life and legacy of Rachel Carson
Souder, William, 1949-
Call Number: 570.92 C321So

Over 50 years ago, in her book The silent springRachel Carson warned about the dangers of widespread use of pesticide. This recent biography examines the life of this quiet, dedicated scientist.


Book cover for The planter of modern life : Louis Bromfield and the seeds of a food revolution
The planter of modern life : Louis Bromfield and the seeds of a food revolution
Heyman, Stephen
Call Number: 813 B868He

Louis Bromfield won a Pulitzer Prize and wrote numerous bestselling novels during the 1920s. The rains came was twice made into a movie, in 1939 and 1955. He was an early proponent of organic farming and gardening and established the Malabar Farm which, at the time, was an experiment in organic and sustained farming. It still exists today as The Malabar Farm Foundation. This biography explores Bromfield's life as early environmentalist.


Book cover for Walking the forest with Chico Mendes : struggle for justice in the Amazon
Walking the forest with Chico Mendes : struggle for justice in the Amazon
Rodrigues, Gomercindo.
Call Number: 634.92511 M538Ro

Chico Mendes was a Brazilian labor organizer and environmental activist who was murdered in 1988.  A man ahead of his time, who knew that it was possible to preserve the Amazon's rain forest without harming the lives of laborers who worked as rubber tappers. He knew that destroying the rain forest to make way for massive cattle ranches would be horrendous to the environment of the world.


Book cover for War diaries 1939-1945 = Krigsdagböcker 1939-1945
War diaries 1939-1945 = Krigsdagböcker 1939-1945
Lindgren, Astrid, 1907-2002
Call Number: 839.73 L745L

During World War II, Astrid Lindgren kept personal diaries that reflect her thoughts on war, violence, rationing and how to overcome evil and make the world a better place in which to live.


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