The Forest: A Fable of America in the 1830s

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Product Details
$35.00  $32.55
Princeton University Press
Publish Date
5.6 X 8.6 X 1.1 inches | 1.2 pounds
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About the Author
Alexander Nemerov is the Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities at Stanford University. His many books include Fierce Poise: Helen Frankenthaler and 1950s New York and Soulmaker: The Times of Lewis Hine (Princeton).
"[A] beguiling study of American intellectual and cultural life two centuries ago at the places where forests and civilization met."-- "Kirkus Reviews starred review"
"For each scene, [Alexander Nemerov] seems to have asked himself not merely how things would have looked in the 1830s but also how they would have sounded, felt, tasted and smelled. The Forest is easily one of the most pungent books I've read, an encyclopedia of vintage odors. . . . After you've read this book, most other cultural histories will seem as stale as the straw on the floor."---Jackson Arn, Wall Street Journal
"I really wish I'd written this book. The Forest is what one might dubiously call 'a nonfiction novel, ' taking as it does the lives, both real and imagined, of multiple early inhabitants of America's great forests--artists, tradesmen, farmers, poets, enslaved people--and turning them into fictionalized episodes. . . . This is history imagined as ecology."---Jonny Diamond, Literary Hub
"This vibrant collection liberally envisions America's early cultural life through its forests, from Nathaniel Hawthorne, for whom trees were 'arbors of thought, ' to Nat Turner, who planned his rebellion while secluded in the woods."-- "New York Times"
"Alexander Nemerov . . . brings [an] unruly and uncanny world to life in his new book, The Forest. Neither history nor fiction, the book unspools over dozens of gem-like stories of man's last real encounters with these ancient forests: Nat Turner's woodland hiding place, the inscription of the Cherokee language both on trail trees and on paper, Harriet Tubman's view of the Leonid meteor shower, the painter Thomas Cole's top hat of felted-beaver fur."---Stephanie Bastek, Smarty Pants podcast
"[In] The Forest, readers have a chance to walk through the woods of the early 1800s--and discover that the often contradictory ways we relate to nature now have been with us at least since then. . . . [The book] peers closely at the art of the period in order to better capture how people then felt, thought and dreamed about themselves and the land."---Kiley Bense, Inside Climate News
"The stories are strikingly written with a siren-like poetic draw. . . . [An] historic, sylvan delight."---Kassie Rose, The Longest Chapter

The Forest is Alexander Nemerov's eccentric, impressionistic and strangely hypnotic reconstruction of American life before deforestation and standardisation. . . . Nemerov captures the fleeting spirit of a changing place.

"---Dominic Green, The Spectator
"A history of a lost era that's as moving and profound as great fiction. I'm not sure I've ever read anything that brought the past to such vivid life and made me feel so much like a time traveler."---James Crossley, Madison Books Seattle
"A book to be savored like poetry--start or finish your day with a few of these lush vignettes of early America's forests and the artists, criminals, and visionaries who passed through them, poised between history and myth. I've never felt the nature of America's past--the trees and skies--quite like this."---Nora Sternlof, RJ Julia Booksellers