The evolution of environmental concerns about the air.
In Smokestacks and Progressives, David Stradling explains the evolution of one of America's first environmental movements—the antismoke crusade of the early 1900s. The roots of modern environmentalism, Stradling explains, reach deep into the Victorian era, when early reformers connected beauty, health, and cleanliness with morality and demanded government assistance in maintaining all of them. Air quality became an important issue for middle-class residents in coal-dependent cities—how could a city without pure air, they asked, truly be clean, healthful, and moral? Eventually engineers came to the fore, displaced the reformers (many of them women) as leaders of the movement, and answered their own question—how to abate dirty air.
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