From the list on early modern environmental history.
Who am I?
I am a historian of early modern Europe, especially 16th- and 17th-century England, and my work pulls together threads from different historical disciplines, including political history, the history of science and technology, and environmental history. I am fascinated by the ways that human history is intimately linked with the environment, and I am most interested in how early modern European states and empires worked to understand, manage, and profit from the natural world, especially with respect to using and conserving natural resources such as water, wood, and wildlife. I have chosen books that explore these issues in innovative and exciting ways.
Eric's book list on early modern environmental history
Why did Eric love this book?
A superb history of a particular landscape in the midst of profound political, economic, and environmental transformation; it is a wonderful example of interdisciplinary research.
The book explores the Connecticut River valley in colonial New England, and shows how the economic needs and interactions of the Native American and European inhabitants completely reshaped the ecology of the region.
My favorite chapter is Roberts’s brilliant analysis of the lucrative trade in beaver pelts, which not only shifted the balance of power between Native Americans and European settlers, it also eradicated the beavers and their extensive network of dams, erasing the vast wetlands of the region and leaving the river itself unrecognizable.