A New Face On The Countryside By Alfred W. Crosby Jr. Essay

756 Words Oct 27th, 2016 4 Pages
Contributing to existing scholarship does not always mean forging a new or innovative methodology. Sometimes a book can be a worthwhile read and follow the structure of earlier works. It is in this manner that readers will most appreciate Timothy Silver’s A New Face on the Countryside: Indians, colonists, and slaves in South Atlantic forests. The author quickly acknowledges his appreciation for two earlier works in environmental history that inspired this book, Alfred W. Crosby Jr.’s The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492, and William Cronon’s Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England. A New Face on the Countryside is those two books combined with a singular focus on the South Atlantic English colonies. Relying heavily on accounts from early travelers and settlers, Silver weaves a narrative of significant ecological and biological change to the region from the breakup of the super continent Pangea, to the arrival of humans, and finally the centuries following European discovery. The author’s use of early written accounts as the foundation for his primary sources skews his analysis towards a European viewpoint and over-represents certain regions at the expense of others. Silver’s geographic boundaries for the ‘South Atlantic’ are from Maryland to Georgia, and the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains. (Silver, 1-2) In reality, most of his specific documented evidence is limited to the Chesapeake Tidewater…

Related Documents