Changes in the Land

Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England
Narrated by: Bob Souer
Length: 7 hrs and 18 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (61 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this landmark work of environmental history, William Cronon offers an original and profound explanation of the effects European colonists' sense of property and their pursuit of capitalism had upon the ecosystems of New England. Reissued here with an updated afterword by the author and a new preface by the distinguished colonialist John Demos, Changes in the Land provides a brilliant interdisciplinary interpretation of how land and people influence one another. With its chilling closing line, "The people of plenty were a people of waste", Cronon's enduring and thought-provoking book is ethnoecological history at its best.

©2003 William Cronon; foreword copyright 2003 by John Demos (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Setting his sights squarely on the well-worn terrain of colonial New England, [Cronon] fashions a story that is fresh, ingenious, compelling and altogether important. His approach is at once vividly descriptive and profoundly analytic." ( The New York Times)

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Excellent histgory and ecology

This 1983 history describes the destruction of New England's ecoystems after the European colonization in 1620. The Native American (Indians in the book) population had already drastically declined after 1610 from 70,000 to 122,000 due to pandemics presumably caused by the introduction of viruses by traders. While the Native Americans had lived sustainably for thousands of years, occasionally burning forests to clear land, and those south of the Maine's Sacco River relying mainly on horticulture, the burning of forests, destruction of deer and bird population and the wanton destruction of clam and oyster beds led to the starvation of Native American populations. Cronon describes the changes in the ecosystems and the populations that relied on those natural resources. It is a brief book, but Cronon weaves together research from William Wood's description of New England's natural resources to relatively modern ecological anlayses.

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So Worth It

This novel, while dense and thorough, is fully engaging and performed flawlessly. It gives a we'll rounded image of how, in addition to the driving forces of imperialism, the socioeconomic war between natives and colonists changed irrevocably the landscape of North America.