"Tangled Roots makes a contribution to the literature of environmental conservation history that is as unusual as the trail itself. In a gentle, approachable, and engaging style it tells the history of one of the most important and beloved conservation initiatives in American history and at the same time comments on a wide range of subjects in ways that are both insightful and fresh."
-James Feldman, author of A Storied Wilderness
"Tangled Roots will find readership among environmental and forest historians and will end up on the Christmas lists and in the backpacks of the trail's many fans. It is original and well-researched, ranging the length of the trail and lingering in one or another spot to explore representative or illuminating developments."
-Kathryn Newfont, author of Blue Ridge Commons
"This superb history of the construction and management of the Appalachian Trail not only narrates the creation of the most famous long-distance hiking trail in modern America; it also offers a cautionary tale about the changing roles of private landowners, volunteer hiking enthusiasts, land managers, and federal agencies in the oversight of that trail. In so doing, Sarah Mittlefehldt beautifully illustrates the changing environmental politics of the twentieth century in a book whose implications extend far beyond the AT."
"Mittlefehldt adds insights from the contemporary environmental movement to her interpretation of the history of the Appalachian Trail.... Recommended."
"In this compelling history of the Appalachian Trail (AT), Sarah Mittlefehldt emphasizes community engagement, public-private cooperation, and environmental stewardship...politicians and citizens should read this excellent book to learn about the importance of grass-roots environmentalism combined with federal action. In fact, it will make for fine reading along the trail."
-Aaron Shapiro, North Carolina Historical Review
"Deftly avoiding the traps of both "top-down" and "bottom-up" history, Sarah Mittlefehldt's study of the decades-long struggle to create the Appalachian Trail explores the intersection of private activism with public policy at local, regional, and national levels...a welcome addition to the history of U.S. environmental policy and politics."
-Sarah T. Phillips, American Historical Review
"Essential reading for anyone seeking to create public designation for hiking or biking trails, or waterways... the book [also] offers a primer on US environmental politics from Progressive Era conservation to 1960s environmentalism and to conservative backlash in the 1980s. It would work for an environmental studies or environmental history or environmental policy class that hopes to decipher these politics."
-Margaret L. Brown, Environmental History
"Tangled Roots makes a valuable and welcome contribution to the history of American environmental politics."
-Cody Ferguson, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
"Mittlefehldt's work not only increases our understanding of the history of an important and iconic conservation project, but also, in Mittlefehldt's words, it helps us 'view the possible steps forward for protecting the places that we live and love.'"
-Dan Pierce, Journal of Southern History