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Last Updated: Sep 3, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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UCSB Reads 2014 is over. If you would like to suggest a book title for UCSB Reads 2015, please email your suggestion to


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UCSB Reads 2014

January 2014

To the UCSB and Santa Barbara Community,

The UCSB Library and the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor are pleased to announce the book selection for UCSB Reads 2014: The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America by Timothy Egan.

Now in its eighth year, UCSB Reads is an annual event that brings the campus and Santa Barbara community together in a common reading experience. Using The Big Burn as a starting point, we aim to engage readers in intellectually stimulating dialogue about issues of significant local and national interest, including conservation, wildfire management, and the politics of environmentalism.

The Big Burn chronicles the 1910 wildfire that burned more than three million acres in two days across the national forests of Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Set against the backdrop of the fire, Egan chronicles the social, cultural, and political history that led to the formation of the U.S. Forest Service. Pioneers in the new notion of conservation, President Teddy Roosevelt and chief forester Gifford Pinchot created the idea of public land as our national treasure, owned by and preserved for every citizen.

UCSB Reads 2014 is presented in conjunction with the Bren School’s Strategic Environmental Research Initiative on Wildfire and Climate Change, which is bringing faculty together from various disciplines to generate new approaches to fire management.

A variety of UCSB Reads events, including book club discussions, faculty panels, exhibitions, and film screenings are taking place throughout the winter quarter—on the UCSB campus, at local public libraries, and other venues. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Timothy Egan will offer a free talk in UCSB’s Campbell Hall on March 4. For details about these events, click on the Events Calendar tab above.

Many thanks to our UCSB sponsors for their generous support: Arts & Lectures; Associated Students; Bren School of Environmental Science & Management; College of Engineering; College of Letters & Science; Gevirtz Graduate School of Education; Graduate Division; and Office of First-Year and Graduate Initiatives.

We also appreciate the participation of our community partners: Santa Barbara Public Library, Santa Barbara City College, Westmont College, and KCSB-FM Radio.

We hope you enjoy reading this thought-provoking book, and we look forward to your participation in UCSB Reads.

Gene Lucas                                                     Denise Stephens
Executive Vice Chancellor                             University Librarian


Previous UCSB Reads Books

2013: Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer

2012: Moby Duck by Donovan Hohn

2011: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

2010: Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

2009: Ethics for the New Millenium by Dalai Lama

2008: The Travels of a T-shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli

2007: Field Notes from a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert

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