New Books Network

Adam M. Sowards

An Open Pit Visible from the Moon

The Wilderness Act and the Fight to Protect Miners Ridge and the Public Interest

University of Oklahoma Press 2020

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Environmental StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in LawNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in Science & TechnologyNew Books Network May 21, 2020 Crawford Gribben

Adam M. Sowards is professor of history at the University of Idaho and a leading environmental historian. His new book, An Open Pit Visible...

Adam M. Sowards is professor of history at the University of Idaho and a leading environmental historian. His new book, An Open Pit Visible from the Moon: The Wilderness Act and the Fight to Protect Miners Ridge and the Public Interest (University of Oklahoma Press, 2020), builds on his recent biography of Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas to describe what happened when a major copper corporation set out its plans to establish a massive mine in Washington state. With the Wilderness Act (1964) unable to protect this area of outstanding beauty, conservationists set out to apply moral rather than legal strategies of resistance. This excellent new book shows how ordinary citizens banded together to achieve what the law could not – and how market forces ultimately worked to save Miners Ridge.


Crawford Gribben is a professor of history at Queen’s University Belfast. His research interests focus on the history of puritanism and evangelicalism, and he is the author most recently of John Owen and English Puritanism (Oxford University Press, 2016).