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Publisher's Summary

Awarded the 1992 Bancroft Prize and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award for Best Nonfiction Book of 1991.

In this groundbreaking work, William Cronon gives us an environmental perspective on the history of nineteenth-century America. By exploring the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America's most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Mr. Cronon opens a new window onto our national past. This is the story of city and country becoming ever more tightly bound in a system so powerful that it reshaped the American landscape and transformed American culture. The world that emerged is our own.

©1992 William Cronon (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall

Low information density

I learned some interesting things about Chicago, but I didn't think there was a clear structure and I thought it took the author a lot of words to say not that much.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Good book, dire narrator

This classic, important book of environmental history is excellent and rewarding every time I read it, and doesn't suffer as an audiobook for lack of illustrations. The book reads very well even without seeing the charts. The complex accounting of the development of Chicago and its hinterland makes for a very engaging listen.

However, this particular reader strongly detracts from the text. Words are frequently mispronounced (if I hear potah-wah-tomeee one more time..) making obvious and distracting breaks from believing our narrator knows what he's talking about. An attempt at adding character has him putting on very poor and distracting accents when reading quotations. I also particularly did not enjoy the cadence of the reading, though I understand that is subjective.

Lovely book, I strongly suggest people read it in their lives, but maybe let Professor Cronon's own voice read in your own mind rather than get the audiobook.