The story of the national park idea from America’s preeminent environmental historian. The Fifth Edition of National Parks; The American Experience by Alfred Runte was just released. With 352 pages filled with interesting facts and period photographs, this book chronicles the story of how Americans invented and expanded the concept of national parks. Starting in the mid-1800s, the book explores the idea of preserving our public lands for their natural beauty and that scenery as a cultural asset, resulting in the establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872 in all its grandeur. Over the years, the premise of national parks gradually has evolved to also include how best to allow for public access to these storied lands while maintaining their natural beauty and ecological integrity. National Parks: The American Experience is a celebration and an interesting analysis and critical study of the national park system and how it has evolved and continues to evolve.