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The National Parks:

Shaping the System

(4th. ed, 2018)


The National Parks: Shaping the System is the definitive history of the development of the US National Park System. Originally published in 1985, the fourth edition (by Barry Mackintosh, Janet A. McDonnell, and John H. Sprinkle, Jr. ) was published by GWS in 2018 as a special issue of The George Wright Forum.publication in 1985, is You can sample the Preface, Introduction, and first chapter below.

Download book (filesize = 33 Mb)


Preface to the fourth edition


Shaping the System: Before the National Park Service

Forging a System, 1916 to 1933

From the New Deal to War and Peace, 1933 through 1951

Mission 66 and the Environmental Era, 1952 through 1972

Towards a New Century, 1973 through 2004

(re)Shaping the National Park System, 2005 to 2017


  • National Park System Classifications

  • Chronological List of National Park System Areas

  • Directors of the National Park Service

  • Affiliated Areas

  • National Heritage Areas

  • National Historic Trails

  • National Scenic Trails

  • Wild and Scenic Rivers

  • NPS Cooperative Programs

  • Suggested Readings

  • Index

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