Includes bibliographical references (pages 380-389) and index.
Introduction: The death of Prometheus -- From discovery to Revolution -- The fruits of union -- The unrivaled nature of America -- Forests of commerce -- A changing consciousness -- New frontiers -- Under attack -- Trees as good soldiers and citizens -- Postwar prosperity -- The environmental era.
In the bestselling tradition of Michael Pollan's "Second Nature," this fascinating and unique historical work tells the remarkable story of the relationship between Americans and trees across the entire span of our nation's history.
The history of trees in America is no less remarkable than the history of the United States itself--from the majestic white pines of New England, coveted by the British Crown for use as masts in navy warships, to the orange groves of California, which lured settlers west. In fact, without the country's vast forests and the hundreds of tree species they contained, there would have been no ships, docks, railroads, stockyards, wagons, barrels, furniture, newspapers, rifles, or firewood. No New York City, Miami, or Chicago. No Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, or Daniel Boone. America--if indeed it existed--would be a very different place without its millions of acres of trees. As Eric Rutkow's epic account shows, trees indivisible from the country's rise as both an empire and a civilization. Never before has anyone treated our country's trees and forests as the subject of a broad historical study, and the result is an accessible, informative, and thoroughly entertaining read.--From publisher description.