Watching over Yellowstone is a social history of the U.S. Army’s occupation of the national park during its formative years, beginning in 1886 and ending in 1918 with the establishment of the National Park Service (1916) and the development of the National Park Service ranger program. Prior accounts of the U.S. Army’s stay in Yellowstone National Park have used a top-down approach, focusing on its administrative success. Rust enriches this body of literature by specifically addressing the experiences of the soldiers on the ground in Yellowstone. To provide this side of the story, he poured through inspection reports, court-martial cases, the written accounts of civilians and tourists within and around the park, and other overlooked sources. Thus, he effectively adds to a body of scholarship that reveals national parks as highly regulated and policed zones, in which only specific behaviors are acceptable. The military, like the Park Rangers who succeeded...
Watching over Yellowstone: The US Army’s Experience in America’s First National Park, 1886–1918
Jessica M. DeWitt; Watching over Yellowstone: The US Army’s Experience in America’s First National Park, 1886–1918. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History 2021; 52 (1): 139–141. doi: https://doi.org/10.1162/jinh_r_01686
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