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“A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean, Birdman of the Senate”—Author Talk

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How did one man protect the future of birds?

A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean, Birdman of the Senate is the story of how Connecticut’s George P. McLean helped establish lasting legal protections for birds, overseeing passage of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act, landmark environmental protection legislation that is still in effect today.

In this program, Will McLean Greeley, McLean’s great-great nephew, puts McLean’s victory for birds in the context of his distinguished forty-five-year career marked by many acts of reform during a time of widespread corruption and political instability.

“On one level this is a fascinating, and thoroughly researched, glimpse into the workings of US politics in the early twentieth century. On another level it’s an inspiring story of one man’s determination and steadfast commitment to securing legal protections for birds. I am glad to know more about George McLean.” — David Allen Sibley, author and illustrator of The Sibley Guide to Birds

Will McLean Greeley grew up in West Michigan with a passion for American history, politics, and birds. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and then a master’s degree from Michigan in archives administration. After retiring from a thirty-five-year career in government and corporate market research, he embarked upon three-year research and writing journey to learn about his great-great-uncle George P. McLean and his legacy. Married and the father of two sons (and two grandchildren), Greeley lives in Midland, Michigan. A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington is his first book.

A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington was published by the Rochester Institute of Technology Press in March 2023.

Sponsored by the Write Connection at Thoreau Farm.

The Thoreau Society received a Mass Humanities Staffing Recovery Grant (2023-25) in support of our Membership and Program Coordinator. Funding from Mass Humanities has been provided through the Massachusetts Cultural Council.


Nov 06 2023


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