Timberrr: A History of Logging in New England
by Mary Morton Cowan
Millbrook Press, 2003.
November 15, 2003 issue of Booklist
Gr. 5-8. Cowan takes an obscure topic and convincingly points out its relevance to a wide array of historical, cultural, and scientific studies. Drawing from dozens of sources, she chronicles logging's history and methods, from Engish settlers' forays into what one dubbed a "hideous and desolate waste land" to the development of modern forestry. Along the way, she shows how the flourishing trade in ship masts became a bone of contention between colonists and the crown, describes the many dangerous, specialized jobs in eighteenth-and nineteenth-century lumbering camps, details technical innovations that profoundly changed the industry, and explores our still-improving understanding of forest ecology and related environmental issues. Generously illustrated with black-and-white photos, and capped by a comprehensive glossary plus lists of books and Web sites, this will spark or support a plethora of research projects, as well as give readers a vivid picture of a colorful, now nearly vanished way of life. - John Peters
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