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Cover for the book Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement

Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement

Susan Rimby
  • Copyright: 2012
  • Dimensions: 6 x 9
  • Page Count: 224 pages
  • Illustrations: 15 illustrations
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0-271-05624-1

Hardcover Edition: $64.95Add to Cart

“Mira Lloyd Dock was a Progressive’s Progressive. An ardent conservationist, a well-trained botanist, and a tireless member of the Pennsylvania State Forest Commission, this early twentieth-century Pennsylvanian fought hard for women’s rights and conservation in the Keystone State and throughout the country. Dock is a reminder, Susan Rimby’s fine biography makes clear, of the power that an engaged citizenry holds in its quest for social equality and environmental justice.”
“This book does a wonderful job of weaving the impact of women's groups, politically powerful men, and a variety of historical events and trends into the life of this interesting and influential woman. Mira Lloyd Dock is by no means a household name, yet Susan Rimby's lively, well-written account of her life is worthy of a wide readership.”
“I have wanted to know more about Mira Lloyd Dock for some time, and Susan Rimby’s wonderful biography addresses all of the questions about Dock that intrigued me. Rimby teaches us a great deal about the relationship between urban and rural conservation in the Progressive Era. She also offers fresh insight into the gender politics of that formative period.”
“With thorough research and clear writing, Susan Rimby reveals the complexities of Progressive Era environmental reform. This is a history of ideas put into action, and Dock is a fascinating figure through whom to tell the stories of conservation and women in public life. In Rimby's hands, Dock emerges as a savvy strategist, a tireless worker, and a dreamer with staggering ambitions. Perhaps the book's most impressive accomplishment is re-creating the era's political context with such detail in order to show how Dock got away with it.”
“At long last we have a well-deserved biography of the intrepid Mira Lloyd Dock. Susan Rimby recognizes Dock as the strong and pivotal leader she was, not just as a helpmate to Rothrock, Pinchot, McFarland, and others. Dock rightfully stands beside them, demanding the reclamation of Pennsylvania’s devastated landscapes and cities from industrial excesses and stirring the flames of an emerging national environmental movement. Examining Dock within the context of women’s advocacy groups during the Progressive Era, Rimby is to be applauded for restoring her to a proper niche in the history of Pennsylvania and the nation.”
“Though much has been written about her male counterparts, Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement is the first book dedicated to Mira Lloyd Dock and her work. Susan Rimby weaves these layers of Dock’s story together with the greater historical context of the era to create a vivid and accessible picture of Progressive Era conservation in the eastern United States and Dock’s important role and legacy in the movement.”
“Rimby’s book should encourage more scholarship on women and, more broadly, the construction of gender identity within the conservation and environmental movements.”
“Rimby’s work on Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era conservation movement is a long-needed update to previous scholars’ work on women’s contributions to Progressive Era conservation. While ostensibly a biographical work, it succeeds at accomplishing much more: the presentation of a thoroughly researched twenty-first-century scholarly work on the importance of women during this era. Importantly, it teases out all the strands of a very complex social movement through its analysis of the work of a single female individual.”
“Though much has been written about her male counterparts, Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement is the first book dedicated to Mira Lloyd Dock and her work. Susan Rimby weaves these layers of Dock’s story together with the greater historical context of the era to create a vivid and accessible picture of Progressive Era conservation in the eastern United States and Dock’s important role and legacy in that movement.”
“The women of the conservation movement are beginning to earn their due attention from biographers and historians. To the work of Jack Davis, Dyana Furmansky, Tina Gianquitto, Nancy Unger, and others we can now add Susan Rimby’s admirable biography of Pennsylvanian Mira Lloyd Dock. . . . This is a solid work of primary research based on Dock’s papers in the Library of Congress, various collections from the rich holdings of historical societies scattered throughout Pennsylvania, and other manuscript collections. It is firmly grounded in the current historiography of both the Progressive Era conservation movement and women of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Any historian studying these areas would improve his or her understanding [of] the era by reading Susan Rimby’s Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement.”
“In her biography of conservationist Mira Lloyd Dock, Susan Rimby fuses environmental and women’s history, highlighting the often overlooked connection between the two subgenres. Building on Carolyn Merchant’s idea of the Progressive conservation movement’s ‘gendered dialectic’ and the work of Dorcetta Taylor and others, Rimby uses the life of Dock to further examine the interrelationship between class, gender, and conservation during the Progressive Era. . . . Rimby’s treatment of Dock enriches both environmental and women’s history by providing the story of a remarkable woman who rose above many of the constraints of her time to effect positive change on the society in which she lived.”
“In Rimby’s telling, Dock is both exceptional and exemplary, a woman whose life and career illustrate the opportunities and obstacles encountered by ambitious, privileged women at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Rimby places her subject solidly within a narrative of Progressive Era reform, using sociologist Belinda Robnett’s concept of a ‘bridge leader’ to characterize Dock’s influential though largely informal role in shaping Pennsylvania’s early conservation policy. Dock crafted a career as a public figure able to coordinate the work of ‘both the professional, scientific, conservation world and the grassroots network of women’s clubs.’ . . . Dock had a strong hand in shaping both the cities and the forests of the state, and of the region as well.”

For her time, Mira Lloyd Dock was an exceptional woman: a university-trained botanist, lecturer, women’s club leader, activist in the City Beautiful movement, and public official—the first woman to be appointed to Pennsylvania’s state government. In her twelve years on the Pennsylvania Forest Commission, she allied with the likes of J. T. Rothrock, Gifford Pinchot, and Dietrich Brandis to help bring about a new era in American forestry. She was also an integral force in founding and fostering the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy in Mont Alto, which produced generations of Pennsylvania foresters before becoming Penn State's Mont Alto campus. Though much has been written about her male counterparts, Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement is the first book dedicated to Mira Lloyd Dock and her work. Susan Rimby weaves these layers of Dock’s story together with the greater historical context of the era to create a vivid and accessible picture of Progressive Era conservation in the eastern United States and Dock’s important role and legacy in that movement.

Susan Rimby is Professor of History at Shippensburg University.For her time, Mira Lloyd Dock was an exceptional woman: a university-trained botanist, lecturer, women’s club leader, activist in the City Beautiful movement, and public official—the first woman to be appointed to Pennsylvania’s state government. In her twelve years on the Pennsylvania Forest Commission, she allied with the likes of J. T. Rothrock, Gifford Pinchot, and Dietrich Brandis to help bring about a new era in American forestry. She was also an integral force in founding and fostering the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy in Mont Alto, which produced generations of Pennsylvania foresters before becoming Penn State's Mont Alto campus. Though much has been written about her male counterparts, Mira Lloyd Dock and the Progressive Era Conservation Movement is the first book dedicated to Mira Lloyd Dock and her work. Susan Rimby weaves these layers of Dock’s story together with the greater historical context of the era to create a vivid and accessible picture of Progressive Era conservation in the eastern United States and Dock’s important role and legacy in that movement.

Contents

List of Figures

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Dock, Progressive Era Conservation, and Why It Matters

1 A Reformer Grows in Dauphin County

2 From Harrisburg to Uhlingen

3 The City Beautiful

4 “More for Forests”

5 “Better Housekeeping Out of Doors”

6 “This Has Driven Women into Suffrage”

7 An Active Retirement

Conclusion: Dock’s Legacy and Significance

Epilogue: From Pine Grove Furnace to Wildwood Lake—And Beyond

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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At Work in Penn's Woods

The Civilian Conservation Corps in Pennsylvania
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