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The Lumberman's Frontier: Three Centuries of Land Use, Society, and Change in America's Forests


The Lumberman's Frontier: Three Centuries of Land Use, Society, and Change in America's Forests Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

With The Lumberman's Frontier, Thomas Cox has reconstructed a groundbreaking history that stands apart from all previous studies of American forests. Forests were ubiquitous in early America, but it was only in selected areas that trees, rather than farming, attracted settlement. These areas constitute the lumberman's frontier, which appeared first in northern New England in the seventeenth century, followed by upstate New York, the Allegheny Plateau, the upper Great Lakes states, the Gulf South, and the Far West. The forest frontiers generated capital and building materials important in the nation's development, but they also left a legacy of environmental problems, class and urban-rural divisions, and economic frictions. The 1930s marked the end of the lumberman's frontier, but these consequences continue to shape attitudes and policies toward forests, most notably the questions Whose forests are they? and How and by whom should forests be used? Drawing upon recent work in social and economic history, as well as a wealth of historical data on forest industries and individuals, The Lumberman's Frontier neither glorifies economic development nor falls into the maw of gloom-and-doom. It puts individual actors at center stage, allowing the points of view of the workers and lumbermen to emerge. The Lumberman's Frontier will appeal to students and scholars of forestry, public policy, and environmental history, as well as to general readers interested in the history and settlement of the United States.

Book News Annotation:

While most accounts of the territorial expansion of the U.S. concentrate on the farming frontier, Cox (History [emeritus], San Diego State University) examines the history of areas where trees were the lure that brought in the first settlers. Relying heavily on the words of lumbermen and workers themselves, the author tells the story of the lumberman's frontier over three centuries as it moved west from the rivers of Maine to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Cox's fresh approach to this aspect of U.S. history will interest historians and students of forestry and environmental history. Annotation ©2010 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Product Details

Cox, Thomas R
Oregon State University Press
Cox, Thomas R.
Frontier and pioneer life -- United States.
Social change -- United States -- History.
United States - General
Plants - Trees
Industries - General
Agriculture - Forestry
History, Natural history
US History-General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Business » General
Engineering » Environmental Engineering » Forestry
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Forests
History and Social Science » US History » General
Science and Mathematics » Botany » Trees and Shrubs
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Forests
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Trees

The Lumberman's Frontier: Three Centuries of Land Use, Society, and Change in America's Forests New Trade Paper
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Product details 531 pages Oregon State University Press - English 9780870715792 Reviews:
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