The Hudson: America's River [NOOK Book]


Frances F. Dunwell presents a rich portrait of the Hudson and of the visionary people whose deep relationship with the river inspires changes in American history and culture. Lavishly illustrated with color plates of Hudson River School paintings, period engravings, and glass plate photography, The Hudson captures the spirit of the river through the eyes of its many admirers. It shows the crucial role of the Hudson in the shaping of Manhattan, the rise of the Empire State, and the trajectory of world trade and ...

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The Hudson: America's River

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Frances F. Dunwell presents a rich portrait of the Hudson and of the visionary people whose deep relationship with the river inspires changes in American history and culture. Lavishly illustrated with color plates of Hudson River School paintings, period engravings, and glass plate photography, The Hudson captures the spirit of the river through the eyes of its many admirers. It shows the crucial role of the Hudson in the shaping of Manhattan, the rise of the Empire State, and the trajectory of world trade and global politics, as well as the river's influence on art and architecture, engineering, and conservation.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Dunwell, who has worked for 30 years to conserve the Hudson and its cultural heritage, tells the story of the magical river that has been central to New York's power and to the history of the United States. Beginning with the Native Americans who lived near the Hudson, Dunwell follows the river through the centuries, describing the painters-like Thomas Cole-who found in the river inspiration for great art and the Civilian Conservation Corps's work to build recreational facilities during the Great Depression. Covering the Hudson through space as well as time, Dunwell ranges from the building of the Erie Canal to the erection of the Statue of Liberty, and the Gilded Age estates of J.P. Morgan and Jay Gould. She pays particular attention to the tension between harnessing the Hudson's economic potential and preserving its natural beauty. Dunwell indulges in grandiose statements (the river's forts "assume the importance of Grecian temples") and boosterism ("Can a person make a difference? The answer is yes"). But with the book's dozens of illustrations and a moving foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. as bonuses, people who love the Hudson will love this book. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
School Library Journal

Working in nonprofit and government positions for 30 years, Dunwell has accumulated a wealth of knowledge about the Hudson River, which he presents in this well-documented and lavishly illustrated volume. Dunwell argues that the Hudson is the true river of empire and has played a vital role in the creation of America politically, socially, and economically. Fifteen chapters trace the river's history, beginning with Henry Hudson's exploration and the Dutch who settled along its banks in the 17th century and moving on to the colonial wars between the English and the French and their Native American allies, the American Revolution, the Industrial age following the Civil War, and the 20th century, when the river was best known for its pollution. Dunwell also reveals how the river has inspired artists (the Hudson River school), writers (Washington Irving, James Fenimore Cooper), conservationists who worked to preserve the scenic vistas and historical sites, and environmentalists who worked to clean up the river. This history of the Hudson River is a story of interaction between people and the environment and a story of continuing inspiration and renewal. All libraries will be enriched by this volume.
—Patricia Ann Owens

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231509961
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 4/11/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 392
  • File size: 62 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Frances F. Dunwell is the author of Hudson River Highlands and has spent over thirty years in a number of nonprofit and governmental positions dedicated to conserving the natural and historic heritage of the Hudson River.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Kennedy, Robert F., Jr.

Prologue: River of Imagining, People of Passion and Dreams

1 World's End, World Trade, World River: Henry Hudson's Failed Quest, Adriaen Van der Donck's Utopian Vision, and the Legend of the Storm Ship 1

2 The River That Unites, the River That Divides: King George and George Washington Vie for the Hudson 25

3 America's River of Empire: Robert Fulton's Folly, Robert Livingston's Venture Capital, and DeWitt Clinton's Ditch Spark the Rise of New York Port 49

4 First Stop on the American Tour: Europe Discovers Sylvanus Thayer's West Point, a Catskills Sunrise, and a River That Defines the American Character 67

5 America's First Artists and Writers: The Sacred River of Thomas Cole, the Mythic River of Washington Irving and James Fenimore Cooper 85

6 The Industrialized River: Gouverneur Kemble's Weapon Works, Henry Burden's Iron Foundries, and Colonel Stevens's Engine Factory 109

7 Going up the River for Health and Fun: New York City Journalist N. P. Willis Survives TB and Discovers an Idle Wild 129

8 Design with Nature: The Landscape Gardens of A. J. Downing, the Architecture of A. J. Davis, and the Inspiration for Central Park and Riverside Drive 145

9 Gateway to America, Escape Route to Canada: Immigrants Greet a Beacon of Liberty, John Jervis Creates a New River Route, and a Railroad Goes Underground 163

10 Millionaires' Row: The River Castles of J. P. Morgan, John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, and Frederic Church, and the Floating Palaces of Manhattan's West Side 175

11 A Forest to Protect a Commercial River: Land Surveyor Verplanck Colvin, Photographer Seneca RayStoddard, and the New York Board of Trade Campaign to Safeguard the Hudson in the Adirondacks 197

12 An Interstate Park for the Palisades and the Highlands and a New Progressive Vision: Elizabeth Vermilye's Women's Clubs, Edward and Mary Harriman's Park, Mrs. Olmsted's Fresh Air Camp, and Margaret Sage's Charity 215

13 Over, Under, Across, and Through: Civil Engineers Triumph Over Nature, Except in New York Harbor 235

14 Surviving the Depression, Connecting with Nature: FDR's River of Dignity, Robert Moses's Riverside Drive, and John D. Rockefeller, Jr.'s Parkway 255

15 The 1960s: Scenic Hudson, Riverkeeper, Clearwater, and The Nature Conservancy Campaign to Save a Mountain and Revive a "Dead" River 279

Epilogue: A River of Power, and the Power of Passion 305

Notes 317

Bibliography 333

Index 345

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Frances F. Dunwell has given us wonderful stories about America's river.... She reveals the Hudson's beauty and exposes the contradictions of its history with insights born of personal experience.... We owe Fran our gratitude for all this in her beautifully written book. — from the foreword by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

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  • Posted March 7, 2009

    The Hudson is not just a river

    Great book! Great speaker!

    For many years I traveled across the Hudson on my way to work - taking it for granted; ignoring the river. Being from California, I had no inkling of the rich history of the river. It never crossed my mind that the Hudson had impacted my life as an American living in the West. I was aware of the impact the Revolutionary War and the Industrial Revolution had on my life and environmental movements are strong and vital in California. However, I never made a conscious connection between these movements and the Hudson River. This book is a great way to make these connections to the Hudson whether you live nearby in New York/New Jersey or if you live elsewhere in the USA and just want to learn how a river thousands of miles away might impact your life.

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