he found Madison to be, in fact, restrainingnand rather lukewarm.nNicholas P. Trist, another emigrenVirginian, was an intellectual dilettantenwho spent most of his life in minornpatronage positions in the federal government.nHe attempted, unsuccessfully,nto apply “Madisonian” principles ofnbalance to the seam-splitting, unrulynAmerica of the Jacksonian and antebellumneras, but only succeeded in beingnineffectual and irrelevant.nThe most important, but least interesting,nof the three junior Madisoniansnwas Rives, who was off and on Senatornfrom Virginia as well as U.S. Ministernto France, Madison’s official biograph­nBRIEF MENTIONSner, and probably as famous a figure innhis own time as Calhoun, Clay, ornWebster. Rives played the perfectnMadisonian role in national politics.nHe was definitely for state rights, butnnullification was going too far. ThenSouth was definitely justified in rebuttingnoutside interference with slavery,nbut it was not justified in actuallyndefending slavery. When the questionnwas national bank or no national bank,nRives supported a sort of seminationalnbank.nHaving spent his entire career working,nwith considerable success, to disruptnCalhoun’s efforts to clarify thenissues to their fundamentals and unitenRONALD REAGAN AND THE PUBLIC LANDS:nAMERICA’S CONSERVATION DEBATE, 1979-1984nby C. Brant ShortnCollege Station: Texas A&M University Press, 178 pp., ”n$13.95 (paper) $27.50 (cloth)nThis book is the tenth and most recent volume in Texas A&M’s EnvironmentalnHistory Series. C. Brant Short teaches rhetoric and communications atnIdaho State University, and this book is derived from his doctoral dissertation.nShort tells two stories, and tells them well: how ecology brought preservationistsnand utilitarians together in a “conservation consensus” in the 1960’s,nand how the election of Ronald Reagan and the rise of the New Rightnchallenged this consensus in the 1980’s. Until the 60’s, advocates of developmentnand advocates of preservation based their ideology upon a humancenterednworld view: the decision either to preserve or to develop the wildernessnwas based solely on how mankind would benefit from such action. Ecologynchanged all this. Founded on the writings of such people as Aldo Leopold andnRachel Carson, ecology placed the survival of the ecosystem over the aestheticnor economic needs of society. This view held sway until 1980, when thenpublic—long weary from the “malaise” of the Carter years — found refreshingnand reassuring Ronald Reagan’s ideas of abundant energy and economicngrowth. When Reagan asked at what cost does a society preserve its forests,nrangelands, and mountains, and whether conservation symbolized abundancenrather than scarcity, the public was ready to listen. The rise and fall of JamesnWatt and the privatization of public lands were two manifestations of thisnconservation debate.nUnfortunately, like most books deriving from dissertations, Short’s chaptersnread more like a collection of freestanding essays rather than as subsets of ansmoothly unfolding theme. Mr. Short also falls into the same trap that hasnsnagged virtually every academic writing about environmental history. He findsnthe roots of America’s conservation debate in the famous turn-of-the-centurynbattle between utilitarian Gifford Pinchot and preservationist John Muir overnCalifornia’s Hetch Hetchy Valley. This is wrong. As historian Nelson Van Valennpointed out in a 1981 essay, the first significant delineation of the conservationndebate occurred more than two generations eadier, between the equallynredoubtable antagonists Marmaduke Temple and Nathaniel Bumppo, in JamesnFenimore Cooper’s 1823 novel Ihe Pioneers. The roots of America’s conservationndebate may lie deeper in fiction than in politics.n— Theodore Pappasn30/CHRONICLESnnnthe South, he ended — too late by hisnown standards — in the 1860’s exactlynwhere Calhoun had been decades before:nas a member of the ConfederatenCongress. It was a career of totalnfoolishness and failure.nWhat is most valuable in ProfessornMcCoy’s work is his explorationnof all the gradations of opinion andnreaction of Madison and his three disciplesnas they attempted to apply theirnversion of the Founding principles tonnew times and new forces. These werennot few and simple views and responsesnbut many and complex ones, as McCoynmakes clear in his sophisticated exposition,nand they were concerned withnsuch fundamental matters as executivenversus legislative power, or state versusncentral authority; with traditional principlesnof political economy confronted bynnew conditions; and with the issue ofnslavery and the position of the blacknminority in American society.nThe bottom line is an indication ofnfailure. McCoy, like any good modern,nsees this failure as a sign of moralnweakness in Madison and in men likenhim who did not follow through onntheir professed antislavery views by becomingnabolitionists and egalitarians. Inna sense, this is an unhistorical reading ofnthe period, because freeing the blacknpeople was simply not as important anpriority to Madison as it now seems tonus, nor was it ever conceivable for himnto adopt the modern role of Olympiannreformer or to forward emancipationnwithout riding roughshod over all thenprinciples of government that he heldnsacred.nBut failure did occur in a way thenauthor does not recognize. When a realnleader appeared — Calhoun, who wasnalso a statesman and political thinker ofna high order—it was the Madisoniannlegacy of trimming and seeking ann”artificial” balance that prevented thenonly solution that was possible innMadison’s own conception of government:nit was for the South to unite itselfnsufficiently to deal with the issues in itsnown time and in its own way accordingnto federal and consensual principlesnwithin the Union. The failure to do soncreated, finally, a situation with no issuenexcept conquest and the permanentndestruction of the old federal Republic,nwhich it had been Madison’s fondestnhope to preserve. n