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Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and…

Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal

by Sue Eisenfeld

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Since I moved to a new home just 12 miles from Shenandoah National Park, I've been interested in the natural beauty of the area. This book opened my eyes to the cultural riches that were lost when the park was formed. I think that this park would never have been able to be created today, so it's a treasure that deserves to be cherished. The hikes the author describes brought her to areas that opened up their history to her, which she has researched and shared. I think "Conservation and Betrayal" is a little tendentious for the title, but it's a fascinating study of a world that has disappeared. A quick read, and well worth the time. ( )
  TerriBooks | Jun 10, 2015 |
This book is mostly the memoir of an avid hiker and history buff. It's also an introduction to the art and science of bushwhacking: hiking off the marked roads and trails in search of the park's history and memories. It's a fairly quick read. Highly recommended. ( )
  tim.taylor | Mar 12, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0803238304, Paperback)

For fifteen years Sue Eisenfeld hiked in Shenandoah National Park in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, unaware of the tragic history behind the creation of the park. In this travel narrative, she tells the story of her on-the-ground discovery of the relics and memories a few thousand mountain residents left behind when the government used eminent domain to kick the people off their land to create the park.


With historic maps and notes from hikers who explored before her, Eisenfeld and her husband hike, backpack, and bushwhack the hills and the hollows of this beloved but misbegotten place, searching for stories. Descendants recount memories of their ancestors “grieving themselves to death,” and they continue to speak of their people’s displacement from the land as an untold national tragedy.


Shenandoah: A Story of Conservation and Betrayal is Eisenfeld’s personal journey into the park’s hidden past based on her off-trail explorations. She describes the turmoil of residents’ removal as well as the human face of the government officials behind the formation of the park. In this conflict between conservation for the benefit of a nation and private land ownership, she explores her own complicated personal relationship with the park—a relationship she would not have without the heartbreak of the thousands of people removed from their homes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:35 -0400)

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