December 30, 2010

Douglas Brinkley, Historian

Marcia Franklin talks with author and historian Douglas Brinkley about Wilderness Warrior, his book about President Theodore Roosevelt's passion and strategies for protecting huge tracts of land for national forests, parks and wildlife refuges. Roosevelt created nearly 20 national forests in Idaho.

Dr. Brinkley is a professor at Rice University who has authored or edited more than 20 works, including biographies on Presidents Reagan, Ford and Carter. He was in Boise to speak at the annual Distinguished Humanities Lecture at the Idaho Humanities Council.

Brinkley talks about why he wanted to write the book, which is part of a series he is penning on wilderness issues. He also discusses the effect Idaho had on Roosevelt when he visited here, and the president's legacy in the conservation movement.

The two also discuss Brinkley's desire to bring history alive for his students, including taking trips with students across the country in his "Majic Bus." They also talk about Brinkley's book, The Great Deluge, which examines the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, a city in which Brinkley lived for many years.

Brinkley also discusses one of his upcoming books, a biography of journalist Walter Cronkite.

In a special web extra, he talks about why he writes articles on popular culture, and what it was like to interview Bob Dylan for Rolling Stone magazine.