"Contemporary Environmental Movement"
Neil M. Maher
Neil Maher’s lecture will trace the roots of the contemporary environmental movement back in time to the Great Depression and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. His talk will highlight the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps, one of Roosevelt’s most popular New Deal programs. During its nine-year existence the CCC put nearly four million young men to work planting trees, halting soil erosion, and building state and national parks across the country. In doing so, Maher argues, the Corps also helped to redefine conservation in ways that fostered, during the post-World War II period, environmentalism. Throughout his talk Maher will highlight not only the life experiences of Franklin Roosevelt, but also the lived experiences of CCC enrollees who worked across the state of Pennsylvania.
Neil M. Maher is an associate professor of history in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, Newark. His research interests include 20th-century environmental and political history, the history of technology and medicine, and cultural landscapes.
Maher published Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement (Oxford University Press, 2008), which received the Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award in 2009.
During the 2013-2014 academic year Maher was a Fellow at the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History at Harvard University, where he was researching and writing his next book on the environmental and political history of the space race during the 1960s and 1970s.