Like most Canadian high-school students, I took history courses with extensive sections about our country’s fur trade. We diligently learned about trading posts, the race to acquire beaver pelt, and the rise of the Hudson’s Bay Co. beginning in the late 17th century.
But when it came to the American fur trade, historical depictions were remarkably scarce.
This unfortunate slight is easy to explain. A wealth of information about the American fur trade exists, but it has never been properly condensed for mass consumption, until now. Eric Jay Dolin—whose previous book, Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America was a deft blend of history, business and zoology—has produced a superb one-volume examination of an era when American ingenuity and its competitive spirit began to flourish [entitled Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America].