Northeast and Midwest United States
An Environmental History
by John T. Cumbler Mark R. Stoll, Series Editor
April 2005, 323pp, 7x10
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-57607-909-6
$87, £65, 73€, A125
eBook Available: 978-1-57607-910-2
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Forest and farmland. The Fall Line. Fall colors. The environments of the northeastern and midwestern United States heavily influenced the agriculture and industrial economies of the rest of the nation, and the people of those regions shaped the environment to their uses. Using the stories of actual people, this book shows the interaction of humans and nature from the first inhabitants to modern times.

An engaging, personalized look at the interplay between people and nature in the northeastern and midwestern United States, from prehistory to the present.

The Northeast and Midwest regions of the United States provide a fascinating case study for the emergent field of environmental history. These regions, with their varied resources, were central to the early economic success of the nation. Consequently, the early industries in these regions altered and depleted the landscape as people changed their locations and occupations. Fishing and whaling on the northeastern coast have given way to tourism and sailing. The great stands of timber around the Great Lakes have been replaced by farms and dairies. The textile mills, powered by the falls of the Piedmont and once yielding wealth, now stand empty.

That humans shape their environment and, in turn, must respond to the consequences is broadly obvious. Using the voices of historical figures, both notable and obscure, this book brings to life the interaction between humans and their environments and illustrates the consequences of those interactions. Part of ABC-CLIO’s unique Nature and Human Societies series, this book enables readers to better understand humanity’s effect on the environment.


  • Maps and photographs show environmental regions, population movement, and changes to the environment by humans
  • Separate listing of primary sources for all chapter topics, along with a bibliography and glossary
John T. Cumbler, Ph.D., is professor of history at the University of Louisville, Louisville, KY. His published works include A Social History of Economic Decline: Business, Politics, and Work in Trenton and Reasonable Use: The People, the Environment, and the State, New England, 1790–1930.


"The topics are engaging and entertaining in their unique historical perspective of tying together people and their environment. This work is recommended for academic libraries that collect in the area of environmental studies or environmental history."—American Reference Books Annual, January 1, 2006

"The author explores a vast and varied region where abundant resources provided the fuel for the nation's early economic successes--successes that subsequently altered thelandscape as people changed their locations and occupations. He focuses on the lives of actual people and the links between historical trends and issues we face today."—Abstracts of Public Administration, Development, and the Environment, January 1, 2006
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