From the flap: 'Egan narrates the struggles of the overmatched rangers against the implacable fire with unstoppable dramatic force. Equally dramatic is the larger story he tells of outsized president Teddy Roosevelt and his chief forester, Gifford Pinchot. Pioneering the notion of conservation, Roosevelt and Pinchot did nothing less than create the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citzen. The robber barons fought Roosevelt and Pinchot's rangers, but the Big Burn saved the forests even as it destroyed them: the heroism shown by the rangers turned public opinion permamently in their favor and became the creation myth that drove the Forest Service, with consequences still felt in the way our national lands are protected -- or not -- today.' © 2009 by Timothy Egan. All rights reserved.