From the dust jacket: "This is the story of the world's first widespread conservation movement. A century ago there was an enormous demand for bird feathers to be used in trimming women's hats and bonnets. Feathers were, in effect, symbols of rank and station in western culture. Some bird species became regionally extinct and many others were endangered. Then came a movement in the United States and Great Britain for the conservation of non-game birds. . Dr. Dougherty analyzes the origins and development of the plumage dispute, showing how it relates to later conservation programs."