THE GREAT FOREST by Richard G. Lillard


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An unusual approach to the story of the development of a continent, for here is the story of the United States through the story of her forests, from the discovery of America, heavily forested, to today, when conservation is still in its infancy, a crying need of our economy. Tracing the attitudes towards the forests:- something there for the use of the colonists, something to be cleared away, to be used; the forests supplied wood-workers and sawmills with material for weapons, for medicines, for roadbuilding, for building, for ships. The forests influenced the westward expansion, too; where once it had been shelter for game to the natives it now became shelter for Indians in the guerilla warfare they developed as protection against the advancing white men. Forests were friend and enemy, an integral part of the new world's economy, a vital factor in conflict with the old world, a contributing factor to the growth of cities, until the lust of acquistion brought the forests into the grasp of greedy men who became lumber barons. There are sections on the life of the lumber-jacks, on the conditions in the camps, on the labor unrest that spread throughout the lumber kingdom. The cause of conservation was late in coming- it is still an uphill fight- but perhaps it has come in time not to restore, but to preserve our national wealth of big trees. Lots of supplementary material here for history and economics.

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 1947
Publisher: Knopf