Changes in the Land: William Cronon

William Cronon’s Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983) looks at environmental change and human landscaping in pre-Columbian and colonial New England. Cronon argues that what we think of as “nature” on the so-called American frontier was not an untouched and pristine wilderness, but a heavily landscaped environment where American Indians used a range of tools, including fire and species selection, to shape their physical surroundings for centuries. By recognizing that humans are not in a biblical battle to tame a dangerous and wild earth, Cronon says we can move beyond romanticized views of nature and understand the complex relationships between cultures and their environments.

Citation
Cronon, William. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. 1st ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 1983.

By N. H. Gill
Quito, 2020

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