The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), more than any other of the new environmental groups formed in the United States in the 1960s, illustrates the sweeping changes that have taken place in the public interest world, from the last 20th-century time of great U.S. social and political unrest, to the current wave of activism in the first decade of the 21st century. In the period that spawned the U.S. environmental movement, from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, remnants of state-sanctioned racism, divisions over the Vietnam War, and criminal activity in the White House created broad public engagement in debates about U.S. values and the federal government's responsibilities. With eyes opened by struggles over race, war, and corruption, the Americans were ready to pay attention to ...

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