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Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America Hardcover – Deckle Edge, July 12, 2010
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You may have noticed that some of our books are identified as "deckle edge" in the title. Deckle edge books are bound with pages that are made to resemble handmade paper by applying a frayed texture to the edges. Deckle edge is an ornamental feature designed to set certain titles apart from books with machine-cut pages. See a larger image.
Top Customer Reviews
First, the book: Fur, Fortune, and Empire follows some of the pivotal events of the American fur trade. While the book claims to cover the period from 1550-1900, in reality it focuses on the early 1600s and early 1800s. Dolin argues that the fur trade was integral to American history, leading to the founding of cities like Springfield, MA (my dad's hometown) and encouraging British settlers to expand into Dutch and French territory. I think Dolin is right about this and makes a good case for the importance of the fur trade in U.S. history. For that alone, ...Read more ›
But there were many other influences. One was that the fur trade was probably the largest factor in defining the final U.S.-Canadian border. Two examples: The border through the middle of 4 of the Great Lakes preserved the (canoe) transport route of furs from the interior of Canada to Montreal; the wagon trains led to the Oregon Territory by the (ex) mountain men swung the balance of power in this co-occupied(U.S. and British)region to the U.S., bringing to the U.S. the land west of the continental divide, north of the Columbia river, and below the 49th parallel (the current state of Washington, the Idaho panhandle, and western Montana).
Dolin has scoured hundreds of sources, summarizing key information in a compelling succinct narrative for the general reader.Read more ›
Overall, however, if you are already well versed, and the literature is quite encyclopedic, generically speaking there is not much here that is new. But Dolan really does provide a very good jumping off point if you are new to this fascinating subject and his literary style is excellent.
This is a very enjoyable read.
I was pleased with the author's selection of pictures to illustrate the book. The picture that inflamed my humanity was a Harper's Weekly drawing of 1874 which depicted a lone buffalo giving up its skin to a hunter, saying - "Don't shoot, my good fellow! Here, take my 'robe', save your ammunition, and let me go in peace."
The French and Indian Wars (which pre-dated the American Revolution and generated the need for the British Empire to tax the colonists) was fought primarily to control the fur trade. To stir up revolutionary passions, Benjamin Franklin argued to the colonists that this was a conflict between the British and the French, not a conflict involving the Americans.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is not only about the fur trade, but about the birth of the USA. It's rich in stories and details that will entertain anyone that appreciates history, whether they want... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Adam C.
Great book, wow lots of new details not in the history books or even relayed at Plymouth PlatationPublished 8 months ago by Ralph Rossi
This is a fascinating account of how our country was settled by fur traders moving farther and farther west. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Devoted yogi
Trapping is one of the oldest professions. The North American Fur Trade is a highly crucial strain in the settlement of the United States and Canada. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Stephen T.
Very good coverage of an inclusive area of our history until the 1840's. I did not fully appreciate its importance even for the settlement of Massachusetts i.e. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Putterer
A very interesting volume. I found the writing captivating and the subject matter had personal interest for me. Read morePublished 17 months ago by J Olson