Battles began to arise in an attempt to protect Americas natural environment

Battles began to arise in an attempt to protect

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Battles began to arise in an attempt to protect America’s natural environment from being developed over o Echo Park, a valley in the Dinosaur National Monument proves an example of this In the 1950’s, the Bureau of Reclamation proposed the building of a dam in the valley to develop hydroelectricity and drinking water – this would have covered the valley under a lake In 1950, Bernard DeVoto published an essay entitled “Shall We Let Them Ruin Our National Parks?” The article had a tremendous impact and aroused opposition to the dam project The Sierra Club saw an increase in their membership and began to fight to protect the valley It also chose a new and aggressive leader – David Brower In 1956, Congress blocked the project and saved the valley Organized Society and Its Detractors : - Large-scale organizations continued to increase their influence over American life as bureaucracies became the dominant forces in both industry and government - White-collar workers actually outnumbered blue-collard workers during the 1950’s - Americans found that in everything they did, a bureaucratic system existed that needed to be driven through - More and more Americans began to believe that the key to a successful future lay in acquiring the specialized training and skills necessary for work in large organizations where workers performed particular functions - America’s educational system responded to this demand with changes in the curriculum and philosophy o Increased attention was given to science, math and foreign languages o The National Defense Education Act of 1958 provided federal funding for development of programs in these areas - Universities began to expand their curricula to provide more opportunities for students to develop specialized skills o The idea of a multiversity was developed and represented a commitment to making higher education a training ground for specialists - Many Americas began to become frustrated by bureaucracies o William H. Whyte Jr. wrote The Organization Man and attempted to describe the special mentality of workers within a large bureaucratic setting He claimed that self-reliance was losing to the ability to just get along and work as a team o Sociologist David Riesman made the same observation in his book The Lonely Crowd where he argued that the traditional inner-directed man who judged himself on the basis of his own values and the esteem of his family was giving way to a new other-directed man who was more concerned with winning the approval of the larger organization or community The Beats and the Restless Culture of Youth : - The most critical opponents of bureaucracy were a group of young poets, writers and artists that were known as the “beats” - The wrote harsh critiques of what they considered the conformity of American life along with the meaninglessness of American politics and popular culture - Examples include: o Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” (1955) o Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road (1957) o The film
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