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Fur, Fortune, and Empire the Epic Historoy of the Fur Trade in America

Dolin, Eric Jay

393 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0393067106 / ISBN 13: 9780393067101
Published by W.W. Norton, New York, 2010
Condition: Very Fine Hardcover
From Wayward Books (South dartmouth, MA, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

By the author of Leviathan. Signed on the title page, not inscribed to anyone. Like new, appears unread. Bookseller Inventory # 014790

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Fur, Fortune, and Empire the Epic Historoy ...

Publisher: W.W. Norton, New York

Publication Date: 2010

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Very Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

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

From the Back Cover:

From the bestselling author of Leviathan comes a sweeping narrative of one of America's most historically rich industries. Beginning in the early 1600s, Dolin traces the dramatic rise and fall of the American fur trade, from the first Dutch encounters with the Indians to the conservation movement in the late nineteenth century. He shows how the fur trade sparked controversy, fostered economic competition, and fueled wars among European powers as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations. The trade in beaver, buffalo, sea otter, and other furs spurred the exploration and the settlement of the vast American continent, while it alternately enriched and gravely damaged the lives of America's native peoples. Fur, Fortune, and Empire is the most comprehensive and compelling history of the American fur trade ever written.

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