chapter  8
26 Pages

Clearing the forests

Several writers have explored the degree to which timber has entered into American life,2 but the topic is much bigger than the "life from cradle to coffin" approach. It involves the whole geography, economy, and cultural fabric and ethos of America, and it resounds with grandiose themes such as deforestation, destructive exploitation, industrialization, agricultural self-sufficiency, Americanization, and environmental awareness.3 That all these themes stem from the one great story of the clearing of the forests and the making of a new landscape is rarely appreciated and imperfectly understood.