An engaging, personalized look at the interplay between people and nature in the Northeastern and Midwestern United States, from prehistory to the present. Forest and farmland. The Fall Line. Fall colors. The environment of the Northeastern and Midwestern United States shaped agriculture and industry and the people shaped the environment to their uses. Using the stories of real people, this book shows the interaction of humans and nature from the first inhabitants to modern times. The Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States provide a fascinating case study for the emergent field of environmental history.
These regions, with their varied resources, were central to the early economic success of the country, which, in turn, altered and depleted the landscape as people changed locations and occupations. Fishing and whaling on the coast have given way to tourism and sailing. The great stands of timber around the Great Lakes are gone, replaced by farms and dairies. The textile mills, powered by the falls of the Piedmont, have once yielded wealth and now stand empty. That humans shape their environment and, in turn, must respond to the consequences is broadly obvious. By using the voices of historical figures-notable and obscure-this book makes that interaction vivid and real.