Books

How Western National Parks Transformed America During the Great Depression (tentative title). The public investment in America’s western national parks, expansion of park lands, increased accessibility to the general public, enhanced educational component of the visitor experience, and inspirational nature of park landscapes collectively helped an economically distressed and dispirited nation emerge from the depths of the Great Depression.

The first draft of the book is in process. Lectures on the subject are available. Publication date is likely to be about 2020.

Religion and American Presidents: From George Washington to _____ (tentative title). Due to the pervasive presence of theocratic colonies in the Colonial Era, the religious landscape of the United States of America, a secular nation, has impacted each and every president. Few presidents during their lives and while in office expressed personal religious sentiments. On the other hand, inclusive, perfunctory nods to providence and/or an impersonal and nationalistic divine force have been common throughout presidential history. Even so, presidents throughout the 18th and 19th centuries uniformly affirmed the Constitutional separation of religion and state. More recently, presidential homages to nationalist Protestant, evangelical Christianity have been common since the 1890s. Some recent administrations have advocated against the separation of religion and state and for special privileges and favoritism of white, evangelical Christianity. Finally, religious pressures directed toward presidents have garnered a wide variety of responses from office holders throughout American history, the specific circumstances often reflecting larger national or regional currents.

The initial contents of the book are currently being published in draft from as a series of articles in Nurturing Faith Journal focusing on each president individually. Lectures on material from the book are available. The upcoming book will consist of the published articles in edited and expanded form, including summaries of related primary materials for each president. Publication date has been delayed until after the end of the Trump administration and, hopefully, the return of sanity to the White House.

(Title undetermined at this time). A biography of Green Clay Smith, nineteenth century Kentucky politician, U.S. Congressman, Emancipation advocate, Lincoln pallbearer, second governor of Montana, first presidential candidate of the National Prohibition Party, and religious leader. This project is in the research stage.

Photography

Yellowstone Waterscapes and Portraits. This project examines the presence and impact of water within the world’s first national park.