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.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Edition description:||Revised, 20th Anniversary Edition|
|Product dimensions:||8.08(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.77(d)|
About the Author
William Cronon is the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History at the University of WisconsinMadison. His book Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West won the Bancroft Prize in 1992.
Table of Contents
|Part I.||Looking Backward|
|1||The View from Walden||3|
|Part 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|
|Part III.||Harvests of Change|
|8||That Wilderness Should Turn a Mart||159|
|Afterword: The Book That Almost Wasn't||171|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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
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.
Keeping in mind that my interest in all books in this collection relates to my research regarding the Podunks. To my knowledge there is not a composite publication in their regard. As a result my reviews are for the greatest part deal with their contribution to this effort.Changes in the Land is an interesting treatise regarding the "ecology of New England" relative to how the Native Americans contributed as well as the early colonists from western Europe. Of this entire publication, what has proven most valuable to me is the 30 page Biographical Essay which is well written and useful for anyone wishing to learn more about the environment of New England when the first settlers arrived.Likely what will prove most surprising to many is the great variety that New England's topography offers.
William Cronon is a genius, particularly how he frames the conflict between Indians and Colonists as a conflict between different systems of property ownership and to see how this intersected with the ecological processes and landscape of the region. In Cronon's analysis, although we still see how the English, with their newfound love for the commodity and the market, are still blameworthy, they were not the only ones involved in the scope of these changes as even beavers and bees took part in the creation of new lands and new markets.