NATIONAL PARKS AND THE WOMAN’S VOICE: A HISTORY, by Polly Welts Kaufman (University of New Mexico Press, 320 pages, $42.50).

The story of the contributions made by women to the preservation of America’s significant natural and historic places is detailed in this account of their struggles for recognition and acceptance within the National Park Service (NPS). Kaufman divides the book into two sections that examine the pioneering women–travelers and explorers, founders and advocates, ranger-naturalists, and park-service wives–who helped to establish the park system and provide the impetus for preserving both the nation’s natural wonders and its historically significant sites,and the “modern sisters” who have persevered in penetrating the male-dominated NPS. Using numerous first-person accounts, the author reveals the involvement of women in the erection of monuments to Civil War soldiers at important battle sites; the drives to save such national icons as Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and Valley Forge, Pennsylvania; and the identification of such future national historical parks as the Anasazi cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, Arizona, and the site of the 1607 English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.