Fire in America

A Cultural History of Wildland and Rural Fire

Stephen J. Pyne

  • $39.95 paperback (9780295975924) Add to Cart
  • hardcover not available
  • Published: 1997
  • Subject Listing: History / Environmental History; Environmental Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 680 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Series: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books
  • Contents

From prehistory to the present-day conservation movement, Pyne explores the efforts of successive American cultures to master wildfire and to use it to shape the landscape.
List of Illustrations
Foreword by William Cronon
Preface to the 1997 Paperback Edition
Preface to the Original Edition: History with Fire in its eye
Prologue: The Smoke of TIme
Nature's Fire
The Fire from Asia
The Fire from Europe
The Great Barbecue
The Heroic Age
A Continental Experiment
The Cold War on Fire
Fields of Fire
Epilogue: The Forbidden Flame
Bibliographic Abbreviations
Bibliographic Essay

"On rare occasions, the historical literature is enriched by the introduction of a broad new field for study, by a book that dramatically expands the boundaries of scholarly investigation. Stephen Pyne's Fire in America is such a book. It achieves the Promethean goal of bringing fire to history."

"This unusual and imaginative work takes a phenomenon that seems at first glance to be so elemental as to have no history and no evolution, and gives it a dynamic role in the drama of American advance from frontier through agricultural to industrial society. By integrating the history of fire with ecology, agriculture, logging, and resource management, Pyne has made a unique contribution to the history of science and technology, as well as to cultural history in general."

"Stephen J. Pyne compels our admiration for his gargantuan ambition and richly informed intelligence. He tells us more than anyone else to date has about the role of fire in the landscape, tells us we have been wrong in assuming a pristine state of nature before the white man's invasion, tells us what fire has meant to the rise of civilization and this nation. No one interested in environmental history can afford to ignore this massive achievement."
-Journal of American History