Magazine article American Forests

Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks

Magazine article American Forests

Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks

Article excerpt

CONTESTED TERRAIN: A NEW HISTORY OF NATURE AND PEOPLE IN THE ADIRONDACKS

by Phillip G. Terric. Syracuse University Press, 1600 Jamesville Ave., Syracuse, NY 132445160 (1997). 244 pp. cloth ISBN 0-8156-0445-9, $26.95

Author Philip Terrie succeeds in showing that "the history of the Adirondacks is a tale of contested terrain" and in connecting "current conflicts to their historical, social, and cultural roots." He explores how fierce conflicts over land use "originate in stories...about the land and its potential."

Unlike most previous histories of the region, however, Terrie includes the stories of everyday people who settled and live in these mountains, as well as those outsiders who seek to exploit the land or transform it into a wilderness park: "The inevitability that some Adirondackers would come to love the land...and consider it their spiritual home was largely ignored by downstate writers and policy makers who eventually determined the fate of the region," and, he argues, by most historians of the region. …

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