Saturday, 19 October 2013

Thoughts on Nature's Metropolis

Bill Cronon's Nature's Metropolis is a long, layered book. Just shy of 400 pages (plus numerous insets that are interesting though would be more so if they were incorporated into the work), Cronon provides a detailed environmental history and historical geography not just of the city of Chicago but of the vast regions of the American west that became its hinterland during the latter two thirds of the nineteenth century. I've heard numerous scholars and graduate students cite this work as their gateway into environmental history and after reading it I'm left feeling that if I wasn't already part of the choir, I'd also be one of its converts.