Changes in the Land, Revised Edition: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England

Overview

The book that launched environmental history now updated.

Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize

In this landmark work of environmental history, William Cronon offers an original and profound explanation of the effects European colonists' sense of property and their pursuit of capitalism had upon the ecosystems of New England. Reissued here with an updated afterword by the author and a new preface by the distinguished colonialist John Demos, ...

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Overview

The book that launched environmental history now updated.

Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize

In this landmark work of environmental history, William Cronon offers an original and profound explanation of the effects European colonists' sense of property and their pursuit of capitalism had upon the ecosystems of New England. Reissued here with an updated afterword by the author and a new preface by the distinguished colonialist John Demos, Changes in the Land, provides a brilliant inter-disciplinary interpretation of how land and people influence one another. With its chilling closing line, "The people of plenty were a people of waste," Cronon's enduring and thought-provoking book is ethno-ecological history at its best.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Changes in the Land exemplifies, and realizes, the promise of ecological history with stunning effect. Setting his sights squarely on the well-worn terrain of colonial New England, [Cronon] fashions a story that is fresh, ingenious, compelling and altogether important. His approach is at once vividly descriptive and profoundly analytic."--John Demos, The New York Times Book Review

"A superb achievement: Cronon has changed the terms of historical discourse regarding colonial New England."--Wilcomb E. Washburn, director of the Office of American Studies, Smithsonian Institution

"A cogent, sophisticated, and balanced study of Indian-white contact. Gracefully written, subtly argued, and well informed, it is a work whose implications extend far beyond colonial New England."--Richard White, Michigan State University

"This is ethno-ecological history at its best . . . American colonial history will never be the same after this path-breaking, exciting book."--Wilbur R. Jacobs, University of California, Santa Barbara

"A brilliant performance, from which all students of early American history will profit."--Edmund S. Morgan, Yale University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809016341
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: Revised Edition, 20th Anniversary Edition
  • Edition number: 20
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 119,684
  • Product dimensions: 8.08 (w) x 11.06 (h) x 0.77 (d)

Meet the Author

William Cronon is the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin--Madison. His book Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West won the Bancroft Prize in 1992.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Pt. I Looking Backward
1 The View from Walden 3
Pt. II The Ecological Transformation of Colonial New England
2 Landscape and Patchwork 19
3 Seasons of Want and Plenty 34
4 Bounding the Land 54
5 Commodities of the Hunt 82
6 Taking the Forest 108
7 A World of Fields and Fences 127
Pt. III Harvests of Change
8 The Wilderness Should Turn a Mart 159
Afterword: The Book That Almost Wasn't 171
Notes 187
Bibliographical Essay 223
Index 253
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    Excellent book

    This is a very fascinating take on colonial history, one that I hope more historians will research. This books looks at history from an ecological approach--how Native American snd European land practices affected the landscape of colonial America. Native Americans seemed much more in tune with their physical environment and altered their landscape in order to maximize it's potential, while European settlers altered the landscape to make it more like their homelands, and in the process, greatly changed the vegetation, wildlife, and even the climate of New England. It was an eye-opener on how wasteful we were, even from earliest moments of European settlement. It is a must read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2004

    New Implications for Early America

    Changes in the Land gives a whole new take on the implications of the colonization of early America. Cronan sensitively and sensibly outlines the underlying elements in the 'success' story of colonial America, and the dire consequences for its original inhabitants.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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