The Natural Resources Defence Council was formed more than forty years ago, with a staff of just two. It has since grown to be one of the largest environmental organizations in the world with more than 1.3 million members, and a staff of 350 lawyers, scientists, and allied professionals. The NRDC has compiled a remarkable roster of victories for clean air & water, environmental justice, endangered species, and wilderness areas.
John and Patricia Adams were there at the NRDC’s lean beginnings, as described in their new book A Force for Nature: The Story of the NRDC and the Fight to Save Our Planet– an inspiring history of an organization that has literally made us a stronger, healthier, and greener society.
John Adams (pictured above) served as the NRDC president from 1970 to 2006, always pushing for strategies based on law and science that would protect the environment as a whole. Rolling Stone magazine once observed, “If the planet has a lawyer, it’s John Adams.”
A Force for Nature joins one of our favorite sections of the Land Library — shelves we return to often for inspiration. Over the years we have built up quite a collection of institutional biographies, the behind-the-scene stories of land trusts, environmental organizations, historic preservation groups, museums, parks & preserves — groups that started with a vision and eventually grew into effective agents for change. They all started with a small number of people who saw a need, remained positive, and never waivered. We love these books! Here’s just a few of our favorites:
Conservancy: The Land Trust Movement in America by Richard Brewer, Nature’s Keepers: The Remarkable Story of How The Nature Conservancy Became the Largest Environmental Group in the World by Bill Birchard, Justice on Earth: Earthjustice and the People it has Served by Tom Turner.
Creating the National Park Service by Horace M. Albright, Return of the Peregrine: A North American Saga of Tenacity and Teamwork (the story of The Peregrine Fund) edited by William Burnham & Tom Cade, Dinosaurs in the Attic: The American Museum of Natural History by Douglas Preston.