In this groundbreaking work, William Cronon gives us an environmental perspective on the history of nineteenth-century America. By exploring the ecological and economic changes that made Chicago America's most dynamic city and the Great West its hinterland, Mr. Cronon opens a new window onto our national past. This is the story of city and country becoming ever more tightly bound in a system so powerful that it reshaped the American landscape and transformed American culture. The world that emerged is our own.
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize
"Thoroughly original... Illuminating... Brilliant." -- Donald L. Miller - New York Times Book Review "No one has ever written a better book about a city... No one has written about Chicago with more power, clarity and intelligence than Cronon." -- Kenneth T. Jackson - Boston Globe "An intoxicating piece of scholarship and enterprise... It is really a work of biography: a look at the life of Chicago." -- David Shribman - Wall Street Journal