Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Lumberman's Frontier: Three Centuries of Land Use, Society, and Change in America's Forests

Academic journal article The Journal of Southern History

The Lumberman's Frontier: Three Centuries of Land Use, Society, and Change in America's Forests

Article excerpt

The Lumberman's Frontier: Three Centuries of Land Use, Society, and Change in America's Forests. By Thomas R. Cox. (Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2010. Pp. [xii], 531. Paper, $35.00, ISBN 978-0-87071-579-2.) In creating this "product of over forty years of probing and questioning," forest historian Thomas R. Cox delivers a quite different book than the one he "set out to write" for Ray Allen Billington's American Frontiers series (p. x). Explaining that gaps in the existing literature were larger than anticipated and the continual appearance of new environmental and socioeconomic studies compounded his work, Cox presents a valuable piece of scholarship. The book, 25 percent of which is endnotes, is not as sweeping an evaluation as the title or subtitle might suggest. Cox stresses it is not "a study of the use of forests throughout American history" or "of the political economy, but of individuals, their varied accomplishments, and the results thereof" (p. x). Two chapters, making up a small percentage of the book, focus on the South, where "the earliest lumbering was an adjunct of agriculture, not an end in itself" (p. 213). …

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