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American Canopy : Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation

ISBN: 9781439193587 | 1439193584
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Scribner
Pub. Date: 4/2/2013

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This fascinating and groundbreaking work tells the remarkable story of the relationship between Americans and their trees across the entire span of our nation's history. Like many of us,historians have long been guilty of taking trees for granted. Yet the history of trees in America is no less remarkable than the history of the United States itselffrom the majestic white pines of New England, which were coveted by the British Crown for use as masts in navy warships, to the orange groves of California, which lured settlers west. In fact, without the country's vast forests and the hundreds of tree species they contained, there would have been no ships, docks, railroads, stockyards, wagons, barrels, furniture, newspapers, rifles, or firewood. No shingled villages or whaling vessels in New England. No New York City, Miami, or Chicago. No Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, or Daniel Boone. No Allied planes in World War I, and no suburban sprawl in the middle of the twentieth century. As Eric Rutkow's brilliant, epic account shows, trees were essential to the early years of the republic and indivisible from the country's rise as both an empire and a civilization. Never before has anyone treated our country's trees and forests as the subject of a broad historical study, and the result is an accessible, informative, and thoroughly entertaining read. Audacious in its 400 year scope, authoritative in its detail, and elegant in its execution, American Canopyis perfect for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

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