Land ownership by individual citizens is a cornerstone of American heritage and a centerpiece of the American dream. Thomas Jefferson called it the key to our success as a democracy. Yet the question of who owns America not only remains unanswered but is central to a fundamental conflict that can pit private property rights advocates against government policymakers and environmentalists.
Land use authority Harvey M. Jacobs has gathered a provocative collection of perspectives from eighteen contributors in the fields of law, history, anthropology, economics, sociology, forestry, and environmental studies. Who Owns America? begins with the popular view of land ownership as seen though the television show Bonanza! It examines public regulation of private land; public land management; the roles culture and ethnic values play in land use; and concludes with Jacobs’ title essay.
Who Owns America? is a powerful and illuminating exploration of the very terrain that makes us Americans. Its broad set of theoretical and historical perspectives will fascinate historians, environmental activists, policy makers, and all who care deeply about the land we share.