Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain

From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain
A History of Environmental Change in Temperate North America from 1500 to the Present


  • Date Published: September 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521394529

£ 124.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • From Coastal Wilderness to Fruited Plain is an account of the making of a large part of the American landscape following European settlement. Drawing upon land survey records and early travellers' accounts, Dr Whitney reconstructs the 'virgin' forests and grasslands of the north-eastern and central United States during the pre-settlement period. He then documents successively the clearance and fragmentation of the region's woodlands, the harvest of the forest and its game, the ploughing of the prairies, and the draining of wetlands. The degree to which these activities altered the soil, climate, plant and animal communities, and water cycle are evaluated, and the sustainability of present-day ecosystems is brought into question in this account.

    • A major attempt to outline making of the American landscape in a strong ecological context
    • Readable account
    • Appeals to a broad audience from historians & ecologists to educated general readers
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is a magnificent work … The book is so well done that I hesitate to mention any specific parts lest I neglect something … This is a book that every physical geographer should read … I predict this book will rapidly become a classic and only wish that other scholars would write equally good works on other areas of the world.' Stanley W. Trimble, Progress in Physical Geography

    'Whitney's ecological history is scholarly, comprehensive, well written and interesting.' Conservation Biology

    'Scholarship shines forth … whether the interest is in North America, comparative regional studies or approaches to studying forest landscapes, this volume will be a source of insight, entertainment and academic inspiration.' Trends in Ecology and Evolution

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: September 1994
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521394529
    • length: 488 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.932kg
    • contains: 51 b/w illus. 34 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    Conversion of English to metric units
    US state abbreviations
    Common and scientific names of trees mentioned in the text
    Photographic essay illustrating the character and the demise of the pre-settlement vegetation of the Northeast and the Midwest
    1. Introduction
    2. Reconstructing the past
    3. Nature imposes …
    4. The forest primeval
    5. Preservers of the ecological balance wheel
    6. European precedents
    7. Assault upon the forest, part I: the farmer
    8. Assault upon the forest, part II: the lumber industry
    9. Assault upon the forest, part III: fuel-wood
    10. Predatory agriculture
    11. Grassland agriculture
    12. Forest influences
    13. A transported flora
    14. An impoverished fauna
    15. The legislated landscape
    16. Conclusion

  • Author

    Gordon G. Whitney

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.