Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: Strangers on Familiar Soil: Rediscovering the Chile-California Connection

Magazine article Foreign Affairs

Recent Books: Western Hemisphere: Strangers on Familiar Soil: Rediscovering the Chile-California Connection

Article excerpt

Western Hemisphere Strangers on Familiar Soil: Rediscovering the Chile-California Connection BY EDWARD DALLAM MELILLO. Yale University Press, 2015, 352 pp.

This wonderful book weaves together captivating anecdotes with analysis of environmental interactions and economic exchanges between California and Chile in order to reimagine the making of the Americas. The two places are linked by the American Cordillera, a chain of mountain ranges that includes the Sierra Nevada in California and the Andes in Chile; a common mild, dry, Mediterraneantype climate; and the Pacific Ocean. They have repeatedly remade each other's histories. The California Gold Rush depended on Chilean ships and wood, Chilean wheat flour, and Chilean mercury. In turn, the Monterey pine tree, native to California, has refashioned the forests and landscapes of southern Chile. …

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