We talk with John de Graaf about his new film, Stewart Udall, The Politics of Beauty. It takes an in-depth look at the life and work of Stewart Udall, a man who played a pivotal role in shaping America’s conservation and environmental policies.
Then we listen back to our 2007 interview with Les Leopold about his biography of labor leader and environmentalist Tony Mazzochi.
Key Words: environment, conservation, labor, OSHA, biography, documentary film
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Stewart Udall served as the Secretary of the Interior under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson from 1961 to 1969. During his time in office, he helped create national parks, protected wilderness areas, and advocated for conservation efforts. Udall was instrumental in passing important environmental legislation, such as the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965.
Summary of the Film:
John de Graaf’s film Stewart Udall, The Politics of Beauty explores Udall’s life and career, beginning with his childhood in Arizona and continuing through his time as Secretary of the Interior. The film features interviews with Udall’s family members, friends, and colleagues, as well as environmental activists and tribal members who worked with Udall on conservation efforts and the fight for justice for Navajo uranium miners. The film also delves into Udall’s personal life, including his marriage to Lee Udall, who was an environmental activist in her own right.
Director John de Graaf talks about his inspiration for making the film and shares some of the insights he gained while researching Udall’s life and career. We also discuss Udall’s impact on America’s conservation and environmental policies, and how his legacy continues to influence the conversation around these issues today.
Tony Mazzochi, Labor Leader and Environmentalist
During our first segment today, mention is made of the great labor leader and environmentalist Tony Mazzochi.
Back in 2007, Writer’s Voice spoke with Les Leopold about his wonderful biography of Mazzochi, The Man Who Hated Work And Loved Labor. We re-air an extended excerpt from that interview. You can listen to the entire conversation here.