Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks

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9780815604457: Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks

Rich with illustrations from the collection of the Adirondack Museum, Contested Terrain is a comprehensive introduction to the history of the Adirondacks. In it, Philip G. Terrie explores the conflict that has been debated in this region for centuries: is the Adirondack country a place to be exploited for its natural resources or is it an area to be preserved for its natural beauty and open spaces? Terrie introduces the key players who have shaped the region and its use, from the early settlers, guides, loggers, and genteel nineteenth-century sportsmen to the current year-round residents, wealthy downstate landholders, preservationists, and developers. And the debate continues today. The diversity within the Adirondack Park - from downtown Lake George to the remotest corner of the West Canada Lakes Wilderness Area - emphasizes the need for a lucid, humane, and environmentally sensitive agenda for the future of the Adirondacks.

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About the Author:

Philip G. Terrie is professor emeritus of American culture studies, English, and environmental studies at Bowling Green University. He is author of Forever Wild, also published by Syracuse University Press.

Review:

...the finest general Adirondack history yet written, the book to which all subsequent accounts will have to refer. -- New York Review of Books, Bill McKibben

A new, sharply focused, exhaustively researched book on the cultural, political and social history of the Adirondacks by the man who probably knows more about it than anyone else. . . . It's a brilliant follow-up to Terrie's Forever Wild: A Cultural History of Wilderness in the Adirondacks. -- Jim Reilly, Syracuse Herald American, July 20, 1997

Written for a general readership, Contested Terrain shows how expectations about land use, combined with human interactions with nature, have defined the Adirondacks. As he outlines disputes for control of the land, Philip Terrie introduces the key players, from the year-round residents to wealthy downstate landholders, and 20th century preservationists and developers. Richly illustrated with b/w photographs from the Adirondack Museum (many rarely seen before) Contested Terrain provides a much-needed introduction to Adirondack history. Terrie discusses the conflict that has been debated in this region for centuries: Is the Adirondack Park a place to be exploited for its resources or is it to be treasured for its natural beauty and open spaces? The genteel sportsman of the 1850s perceived the area much differently from settlers struggling to make a living through farming, trapping, guiding, and logging. And the debate continues today. Diverse images of the Adirondacks have emerged. The ever-growing waves of seasonal visitors and the threat of land decimation all emphasized the need for a lucid, humane, and environmentally sensitive agenda for the Adirondacks' future. Contested Terrain is a classic of scholarship, a masterpiece of historical research, a benchmark publication in regional American environmental history. -- Midwest Book Review

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