At first glance, Virginia DeJohn Anderson’s Creatures of Empire is a welcome addition to the growing literature on the environmental history of early America; on closer observation, the work is very much more than this. Indeed, it is more a cultural history than an environmental history.
In the opening of his recent volume, Nature and History in the Potomac Country, historian James D. Rice informs his readers that the idea for the book began with what he perceived as a ‘hole in the map’ (p. 1).
Ikuko Asaka opens this ambitious book by referencing the climatic and geographic rebuttal of black journalist and abolitionist Mary Ann Shadd.
How the West Was Drawn analyzes the relationship between Native Americans and the creation of maps of the western United States. To set the stage, Bernstein opens with a discussion of a modern controversy about maps, specifically Aaron Carapella’s Map of our Tribal Nations: Our Own Names and Original Locations.
Environmental history is one of the most dynamic, innovative, and though-provoking areas of current academic enquiry, and the connection between environmental change, imperialism, and expanding global economies has recently received increased scholarly attention. Building on the foundational works of historians such as William Cronon, Co