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Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West by William Cronon

Simply the best American book on how the corn-belt countryside and the Windy City became the matrices of economic expansionism and ecological contraction. Here sits nineteenth-century Chicago, its Board of Trade turning grain into money; grain into meat. Rivers and rails. Lumber, land, and livestock. Watch infrastructure creep and connect. This is clear history that embeds and informs, while its subtext asks: Can what's been done be undone? Is there a better way?


ISBN: 0393308731

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