The Nevada of lesser-known cities, towns, and outposts deserve their separate chronicles, and here Hulse fills a wide gap. He contributes in a text rich with memories tramping through rural Nevada as a child, then as a journalist seeking news and gossip, then later as an academic historian and a parent trying to share the wonders of the high desert with his family. Nobody is more qualified to write about the cultural nuances of rural Nevada than Hulse, who retired after 35 years as a professor of history at University of Nevada, Reno.
Robert Laxalt wrote an article in National Geographic in 1974 entitled “The Other Nevada” in which he referred to “the Nevada that has been eclipsed by the tinsel trimmings of Las Vegas, the round-the-clock casinos, the ski slopes of the Sierra. It is a Nevada that few tourists see.” With this book Hulse reflects on Laxalt’s insights and shows changes—often slow-moving and incremental—that have occurred since then. Much of the terrain of rural Nevada has not changed at all, while others have adapted to technological revolutions of recent times. Hulse states that there is no single “other” Nevada, but several subcultures with distinct features. He offers a tour of sorts to what John Muir called the “bewildering abundance” of the Nevada landscape.
Nevada's relatively brief history (it became a state in 1864) has been largely a story of the exploitation of its natural resources. Mining has torn down mountains and poisoned streams and groundwater. Uncontrolled grazing by vast herds of sheep and cattle has denuded grasslands and left them prey to the invasion of noxious plant species and vulnerable to wildfire. Clear-cut logging practices have changed the composition of forests and induced serious soil erosion. More recently, military testing, including hundreds of atomic blasts to determine the efficacy of nuclear weapons, has irreversibly polluted expanses of fragile desert landscape. And rampant development throughout the state over the past four decades, along with the public's growing demand for recreational facilities, has placed intolerable demands on the arid state's limited water resources and threatened the survival of numerous rare plant and animal species. Veteran historian and Nevada native James W. Hulse considers the state's complex environmental history as a series of Faustian bargains between the state's need for economic development and the industries, government agencies, and individuals that have exploited Nevada's natural resources with little concern for the long-term consequences of their activities. His survey covers all these issues, and examines public attitudes about the environment and the role of federal and state agencies in creating, interpreting, and enforcing environmental policies.
The cultural and intellectual history of the Silver State is examined through the creation of its libraries. In Oases of Culture, veteran Nevada historian James W. Hulse recounts the tortuous and often colorful history of Nevada’s libraries and the work of the dedicated librarians, educators, civic leaders, women’s organizations, philanthropists, and politicians who struggled to make the democratic vision of free libraries available to all Nevadans. From the establishment of the State Library in 1865, only one year after statehood, through the creation of tax-supported public libraries after passage of a library law in 1895, to the development of today’s modern university and community college libraries and the public-library information services that serve Nevada’s booming and increasingly diverse population, Hulse recounts the trials and triumphs of Nevada’s libraries. He also examines the role of Nevada librarians in fostering literacy and confronting the First Amendment controversies that have periodically shaken the nation’s cultural foundations.
Nevada has changed dramatically over the past quarter century, and in this third edition of The Silver State, renowned historian James W. Hulse recounts the major events—historical, political, and social—that have shaped our state. Hulse’s cohesive approach offers students and general readers an accessible account of Nevada’s colorful history. The new edition highlights the social and political changes that have occurred since the original publication of The Silver State in 1991. Hulse discusses the impact of a growing population; changes in the economy and education system; expanding roles of women; recent developments in state politics, including the 2003 legislative session; the influence of Nevada’s growing ethnic population and increasingly divergent demographic groups; and the impact of federal policies, including President George W. Bush’s 2002 decision to authorize the opening of a nuclear-waste depository at Yucca Mountain. In addition, all the recommended reading lists have been updated. The Silver State explores many dimensions of the Nevada experience and its peoples. This book will inspire readers to take another look at the rich cultural heritage and eventful history of Nevada, the Silver State.
A Nevada State Arboretum, the University of Nevada, Reno campus is home to more than 3,000 trees representing more than 200 species and varieties. This attractive guidebook introduces readers to the university’s beautiful campus and its botanical treasures. Richly illustrated with both contemporary color and archival photos, this book captures the charm of the campus in all four seasons and shows how the grounds of the university have evolved over the years. Featuring 19 distinct tours around campus, a comprehensive map, and family-friendly interactive “tree hunts,” this guide showcases the campus' ecological diversity and interesting tree species and will appeal to first-time visitors as well as longtime residents.