“Paul Sabin’s The Bet is wonderfully conceived, sharply focused and entertainingly executed. In the story of a famous bet between two men of large egos, he manages to touch on the most basic problems we face in trying to come to terms with our current environmental crisis.”
Richard White, author of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America
Are we headed for a world of scarce resources and environmental catastrophe, or will market forces and technological innovation yield greater prosperity? In a gripping new history, Yale University professor Paul Sabindraws on an iconic story to examine the clash between environmentalists and their conservative critics—from the late 1960s to the present—and trace the origins of the political gulf that separates the two sides.
Published “Environmental Law and the End of the New Deal Order” in Law and History Review. This essay on the founding of public interest environmental law firms in the late 1960s and early 1970s situates the organizations in the context of growing liberal disillusionment with government, particularly in the context of the civil rights movement and Vietnam War. Early environmental lawsuits almost exclusively targeted government agencies such as Interior, Transportation, and TVA over their infrastructure and economic development plans. I shared the essay in late September at a stimulating conference at UC Santa Barbara, “Beyond the New Deal Order.”