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James Balliet has commented on (1) product.

Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon
Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West

James Balliet, January 31, 2013

This is a very well written and understandable book. It is a great narrative of the growth of Chicago and its relation with the 'hinterlands'. Additionally the author contends that Chicago was what gave rise to the West (and points North and South) and fed its growth. Its economy fueled the westward expansion, and as it did so, the West grew and gave back fueling Chicago's growth. It is about the marriage of economic and environmental history using commodities (pork bellies, lumber, cattle)to explain the inter-relation of the west (though the term hinterlands is probably more applicable) and the city of Chicago. While the book deals with what could easily be boring, Professor Cronan writes in a way that is entertaining and peaks your curiousity.
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