Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America

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9780393067101: Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America

A Seattle Times selection for one of Best Non-Fiction Books of 2010
Winner of the New England Historial Association's 2010 James P. Hanlan Award
Winner of the Outdoor Writers Association of America 2011 Excellence in Craft Award, Book Division, First Place

"A compelling and well-annotated tale of greed, slaughter and geopolitics." ―Los Angeles Times

From the best-selling author of Leviathan comes this sweeping narrative of one of America's most historically rich industries.

As Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that would one day bear his name, he grew concerned that his Dutch patrons would be disappointed in his failure to find the fabled route to the Orient. What became immediately apparent, however, from the Indians clad in deer skins and "good furs" was that Hudson had discovered something just as tantalizing.

The news of Hudson's 1609 voyage to America ignited a fierce competition to lay claim to this uncharted continent, teeming with untapped natural resources.  The result was the creation of an American fur trade, which fostered economic rivalries and fueled wars among the European powers, and later between the United States and Great Britain, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations.

In Fur, Fortune, and Empire, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise and fall of the fur trade of old, when the rallying cry was "get the furs while they last." Beavers, sea otters, and buffalos were slaughtered, used for their precious pelts that were tailored into extravagant hats, coats, and sleigh blankets. To read Fur, Fortune, and Empire then is to understand how North America was explored, exploited, and settled, while its native Indians were alternately enriched and exploited by the trade.  As Dolin demonstrates, fur, both an economic elixir and an agent of destruction, became inextricably linked to many key events in American history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, as well as to the relentless pull of Manifest Destiny and the opening of the West.

This work provides an international cast beyond the scope of any Hollywood epic, including Thomas Morton, the rabble-rouser who infuriated the Pilgrims by trading guns with the Indians; British explorer Captain James Cook, whose discovery in the Pacific Northwest helped launch America's China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; America's first multimillionaire John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on a foundation of fur; and intrepid mountain men such as Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith, who sliced their way through an awe inspiring and unforgiving landscape, leaving behind a mythic legacy still resonates today.

Concluding with the virtual extinction of the buffalo in the late 1800s, Fur, Fortune, and Empire is an epic history that brings to vivid life three hundred years of the American experience, conclusively demonstrating that the fur trade played a seminal role in creating the nation we are today. 16 pages of color and 16 pages of black-and-white illustrations

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About the Author:

Eric Jay Dolin is the author of Leviathan: The History of Whaling In America, which was chosen as one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe, and also won a number of awards, including the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History and the twenty-third annual L. Byrne Waterman Award, given by the New Bedford Whaling Museum, for outstanding contributions to whaling research and history. His most recent book is Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade (W. W. Norton, July 2010), a national bestseller, was chosen by New WestThe Seattle Times, and The Rocky Mountain Land Library as one of the top non-fiction books of 2010. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he received his Ph.D. in environmental policy, he lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts, with his wife and two children.

From AudioFile:

Dolin's book tells the story of America from Pilgrim times to the end of the nineteenth century by means of the fur trade, a driving economic force in discovery, exploration, and settlement. Tom Weiner's narration is crisp and professional, his voice strong, if not especially engaging. It's a bit too much like an announcer's, but he's expressive and sensitive to the text. However, he consistently reads a beat too fast. His pace might work for a novel, but there's a lot to absorb in this detailed, fast-moving history. Listeners may find that they need to keep going back. The program would have been more enjoyable if he'd slowed down a bit to let the details sink in. W.M. AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that would one day bear his name, he grew concerned that his Dutch patrons would be disappointed in his failure to find the fabled route to the Orient. What became immediately apparent, however, from the Indians clad in deer skins and good furs was that Hudson had discovered something just as tantalizing. The news of Hudson s 1609 voyage to America ignited a fierce competition to lay claim to this uncharted continent, teeming with untapped natural resources. The result was the creation of an American fur trade, which fostered economic rivalries and fueled wars among the European powers, and later between the United States and Great Britain, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations. In Fur, Fortune, and Empire, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise and fall of the fur trade of old, when the rallying cry was get the furs while they last. Beavers, sea otters, and buffalos were slaughtered, used for their precious pelts that were tailored into extravagant hats, coats, and sleigh blankets. To read Fur, Fortune, and Empire then is to understand how North America was explored, exploited, and settled, while its native Indians were alternately enriched and exploited by the trade. As Dolin demonstrates, fur, both an economic elixir and an agent of destruction, became inextricably linked to many key events in American history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, as well as to the relentless pull of Manifest Destiny and the opening of the West. This work provides an international cast beyond the scope of any Hollywood epic, including Thomas Morton, the rabble-rouser who infuriated the Pilgrims by trading guns with the Indians; British explorer Captain James Cook, whose discovery in the Pacific Northwest helped launch America s China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; America s first multimillionaire John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on a foundation of fur; and intrepid mountain men such as Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith, who sliced their way through an awe inspiring and unforgiving landscape, leaving behind a mythic legacy still resonates today. Concluding with the virtual extinction of the buffalo in the late 1800s, Fur, Fortune, and Empire is an epic history that brings to vivid life three hundred years of the American experience, conclusively demonstrating that the fur trade played a seminal role in creating the nation we are today. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780393067101

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2010. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. As Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that would one day bear his name, he grew concerned that his Dutch patrons would be disappointed in his failure to find the fabled route to the Orient. What became immediately apparent, however, from the Indians clad in deer skins and good furs was that Hudson had discovered something just as tantalizing. The news of Hudson s 1609 voyage to America ignited a fierce competition to lay claim to this uncharted continent, teeming with untapped natural resources. The result was the creation of an American fur trade, which fostered economic rivalries and fueled wars among the European powers, and later between the United States and Great Britain, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations. In Fur, Fortune, and Empire, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise and fall of the fur trade of old, when the rallying cry was get the furs while they last. Beavers, sea otters, and buffalos were slaughtered, used for their precious pelts that were tailored into extravagant hats, coats, and sleigh blankets. To read Fur, Fortune, and Empire then is to understand how North America was explored, exploited, and settled, while its native Indians were alternately enriched and exploited by the trade. As Dolin demonstrates, fur, both an economic elixir and an agent of destruction, became inextricably linked to many key events in American history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, as well as to the relentless pull of Manifest Destiny and the opening of the West. This work provides an international cast beyond the scope of any Hollywood epic, including Thomas Morton, the rabble-rouser who infuriated the Pilgrims by trading guns with the Indians; British explorer Captain James Cook, whose discovery in the Pacific Northwest helped launch America s China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; America s first multimillionaire John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on a foundation of fur; and intrepid mountain men such as Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith, who sliced their way through an awe inspiring and unforgiving landscape, leaving behind a mythic legacy still resonates today. Concluding with the virtual extinction of the buffalo in the late 1800s, Fur, Fortune, and Empire is an epic history that brings to vivid life three hundred years of the American experience, conclusively demonstrating that the fur trade played a seminal role in creating the nation we are today. Bookseller Inventory # POW9780393067101

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. HARDCOVER, BRAND NEW, Perfect Shape, No Black Remainder Mark,Fast Shipping With Online Tracking, International Orders shipped Global Priority Air Mail, All orders handled with care and shipped promptly in secure packaging, we ship Mon-Sat and send shipment confirmation emails. Our customer service is friendly, we answer emails fast, accept returns and work hard to deliver 100% Customer Satisfaction!. Bookseller Inventory # 9028359

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, U.S.A., 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. As Henry Hudson sailed up the broad river that would one day bear his name, he grew concerned that his Dutch patrons would be disappointed in his failure to find the fabled route to the Orient. What became immediately apparent, however, from the Indians clad in deerskins and "good furs," was that Hudson had discovered something just as tantalizing. The news of Hudson's 1609 voyage to America ignited a fierce competition to lay claim to this uncharted continent teeming with untapped natural resources. The result was the creation of an American fur trade, which fostered economic rivalries and fueled wars among the European powers, and later between the United States and Great Britain, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations. In FUR, FORTUNE, AND EMPIRE, best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin chronicles the rise and fall of the fur trade of old, when the rallying cry was "Get the furs while they last." Beavers, sea otters, and buffalo were slaughtered, used for their precious pelts that were tailored into extravagant hats, coats, and sleigh blankets. To read FUR, FORTUNE, AND EMPIRE, is to understand how North America was explored and settled, while its native Indians were alternately enriched and exploited by the trade. As Dolin demonstrates, fur -- both an economic elixir and an agent of destruction -- became inextricably linked to many key events in American history, including the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, and the War of 1812, as well as to the relentless pull of Manifest Destiny and the opening of the West. This work provides an international cast beyond the scope of any Hollywood epic, including Thomas Morton, the rabble-rouser who infuriated the Pilgrims by trading guns with the Indians, British explorer Captain James Cook, whose discovery in the Pacific Northwest helped launch America's China trade; Thomas Jefferson, who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; America's first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor, who built a fortune on a foundation of fur; and intrepid mountain men such as Kit Carson and Jedediah Smith, who sliced their way through an awe-inspiring and unforgiving landscape, leaving behind a mythic legacy that still resonates today. Concluding with the virtual extinction of the buffalo in the late 1800s, FUR, FORTUNE, AND EMPIRE is an epic history that brings to vivid life three hundred years of the American experience, conclusively demonstrating that the fur trade played a seminal role in creating the nation we are today. Bookseller Inventory # 000483

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Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., New York, New York, U.S.A., 2010. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Photographs (illustrator). 1st Edition. N/VG, hc, 442pp. Three-quarter gold paper over boards with turquoise paper and gilt text on spine; slight shelf wear at head and tail of spine. Color illustrated dust jacket with turquoise text on upper and spine; slight edge wear; not price clipped. Map end papers. Interior pages clean, unmarked. Binding is tight. Bookseller Inventory # 017499

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