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Forest and Crag, A History of Hiking, Trail Blazing, and Paperback – November 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 928 pages
  • Publisher: Appalachian Mountain Club Books; 2nd edition (November 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1929173482
  • ISBN-13: 978-1929173488
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 6.7 x 1.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,165,574 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a superb, monumental history. The Watermans are adept at the capsule profile, whether of peaks or persons. A gallery of characters unrolls, as diverse as those in a novel by Dickens." --Paul Jamieson, editor, The Adirondack Reader

"Written with grace, style, and good humor, seasoned with a refreshing sense of wonder, Forest and Crag reads more like a gripping novel than the serious research work it really is." --Magnetic North magazine

"In its quality, comprehensiveness, and regional orientation, Forest and Crag is unprecedented in American letters. It will become a classic in social, intellectual, and environmental history." --Roderick Nash, author of Wilderness and the American Mind

From the Back Cover

Lovers of adventure and the outdoors are hailing the return of this mountain literature classic. Superbly researched and written, and now featuring a new preface by co-author Laura Waterman, Forest and Crag is the definitive history of the mountains of the Northeast. The struggles of early pioneers in America's first frontier wilderness, the first ascent of every major peak in the Northeast, the building of the first trail networks including the Appalachian Trail, the golden era of the summit resort hotels, the unforeseen consequences of the backpacking boom of the 1970s and 1980s - it's all here in one comprehensive volume. The late Guy Waterman and his wife Laura spent a decade researching and writing Forest and Crag and in it they draw together widely scattered sources on the history of the White Mountains, the Green Mountains, the Adirondacks, the Catskills, as well as the mountains beyond and in between. What emerges is a compelling story of our ever-evolving relationship with the mountains and wilderness, a story that will fascinate historians, outdoor enthusiasts, and armchair adventurers alike.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Daniel F. Styer on January 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
It looks big, scholarly, and intimidating. It is big, scholarly, lively, fascinating, and fun. (I had it on the shelf for several years, afraid to bring it down because it was so thick. But once I started reading it -- short chapters, lively prose, cogent discussions -- I wished it were longer because I didn't want it to end.) Although obstensibly a history of trail-building in America's northeast, it is just as much a story of humanity's relation with the environment -- and in this role it is far more trenchant and closely reasoned than Simon Schama's "Landscape and Memory". When I started, I thought I would like only those chapters about mountain regions where I had already hiked, but in fact I found the chapters on regions I hadn't yet hiked to be even more fascinating.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Gunner Hellstorm on May 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shortly after starting to hike as a past time I became curious about the history of hiking. There were very few books on the subject and this seemed like a good one to start with. It has answered many of my questions as well as provided hours of entertaining stories about people and places in the Northeast US.

The book is big, well researched and interesting....
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those rare books that delivers more than one expects. To start out, the authors look at the mountains in the northeastern part of the US and write about the way they were viewed by the colonists and Americans, before 1830. They examine personal writings such as diaries, newspapers, pamphlets, and the like. Also paintings. The second section of the book looks at the mountains as "sublime," from 1830-1870, again analyzing passages from writings both personal and public.

The third section of this long but never boring book examines mountains as "places to walk," 1870-1910. The fourth looks at the mountains of the northeast as "escape from urban society," 1910-1950, and the fifth and final section examines mountains "as places for recreation," 1950 - present.

The book contains figures and tables, an appendix, reference notes, and a lengthy index. I find this book an excellent reference source as well as a different and exciting way to learn about aspects of American history.
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