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

Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America
Exact title of book
Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America
Book author
Eric Jay Dolin
ISBN
9780393067101
Publisher
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Published
Jul 12, 2010
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
Pages
464
File size (in PDF)
4176 kB

Some brief overview of book

A Seattle Times selection for one of Best Non-Fiction Books of 2010 Winner of the New England Historial Associations 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 Americas 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 Hudsons 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 Americas China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; Americas 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.

About book author

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 the 2007 John Lyman Award for U. S. Maritime History; and Fur, Fortune, and Empire The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America.

He is also the author of When America First Met China An Exotic History of Tea, Drugs, and Money in the Age of Sail. A graduate of Brown, Yale, and MIT, where he receipAs 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 Hudsons 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 Americas China trade; Thomas Jefferson who dreamed of expanding the fur trade beyond the Mississippi; Americas 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.

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