12 September 2010

Boston: "Fur, Fortune and Empire," Sept. 22

The NEHGS has a busy day September 22, with a morning Australian research seminar (see separate post), and an evening program on the American fur trade with best-selling author Eric Jay Dolin.

A presentation on "Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America," the recently-released new book from author Eric Jay Dolin is set from 6-7.30pm, on Wednesday, September 22 at the NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury St., Boston.

This sweeping narrative of one of America’s most historically rich industries, begins in the early 1600s. Dolin traces the rise and fall of the American fur industry, from the first Dutch encounters with the Indians to the rise of the conservation movement in the late 19th century.

The fur trade, driven by fashion demands, sparked controversy, fostered economic competition, and fueled wars among European powers, as North America became a battleground for colonization and imperial aspirations. The trade in beaver, buffalo, sea otter, and other animal skins spurred the exploration and the settlement of the vast American continent, while it alternately enriched and gravely damaged the lives of America’s native peoples.

Populated by a larger-than-life cast - including Dutch governor Peter Stuyvesant; President Thomas Jefferson; America’s first multimillionaire, John Jacob Astor; and mountain man Kit Carson - Fur, Fortune, and Empire is the most comprehensive and compelling history of the American fur trade ever written. Dolin’s talk, accompanied by slides, will tell the story of fur trade in America, from East to West.
Dolin's previous book - "Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America" - was named one of the best nonfiction books of 2007 by the Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe. A graduate of Brown, Yale and MIT, where he received a PhD (environmental policy), he lives in Marblehead.

For more information visit AmericanAncestors.org.

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