A now prevalent theme in U.S. history considers the intertwined nexus of humans and land, progress and environmental guardianship. This theme underlines an expanse of nationally focused environmental histories—scholarship that contextualizes the arrival of European cultures to the Americas, problematizes the settlement of the American West, and complicates the evolution of an environmentalist ethic in the United States. But just as every microclimate is home to a diverse biota, every local history finds a unique record of people, place, and politics. Enter the locally focused environmental history, and enter Sherman Lewis.

Lewis, professor emeritus in political science at California State University, East Bay, and a sustainability advocate for the Hayward/Pleasanton regional area (located along the San Francisco Bay shoreline, south of Oakland), has recently self-published Ridgelands! The Closing of a Frontier: The History of Open Space from the Hayward Shorelands to Pleasanton Ridge, 1960–2020. Lewis’s book joins a body...

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