The Republic of Nature       

By Mark Fiege
Foreword by William Cronon

This is surely among the most important works of environmental history published since the field was founded four or more decades ago. No book before it has so compellingly demonstrated the value of applying environmental perspectives to historical events that at first glance may seem to have little to do with 'nature' or 'the environment.' No one who cares about the American past can afford to ignore what Fiege has to say."

William Cronon from the foreword


Mark Fiege has written a book so original and so necessary that a reader can be excused for being both astonished and wondering why no one has written a book like this before. It is easy to say that human history never takes place outside the natural world; it is quite another thing to write a history that demonstrates it with the subtlety and grace Mark Fiege does in The Republic of Nature."

Richard White Author of Railroaded


Like the most excellent histories, The Republic of Nature demands that readers see what was once familiar-Gettysburg, the Salem witch trials, and other iconic moments in the American past-in a radically new way, demonstrated with such force that there can be no return to the old narrative. But this book is better than excellent. It is truly brilliant, for Mark Fiege offers us an equally persuasive reorientation of the practice of history itself. It's not just about rewriting the stories; it's about fundamentally rewiring the way we see the past."

Philip Deloria University of Michigan

A thoughtful, thought-provoking, and beautifully written book. The Republic of Nature is sure to be a watershed title for environmental historians and to open up a necessary-and long overdue-dialogue with other fields of American history."

Karl Jacoby Brown University

rain windmill

In a world in which pundits and commen- tators send a steady barrage of condemna- tion at American education, Mark Fiege has offered every teacher of American history a valuable gift: a remedy for the fragmentation of subfields and the lack of cohesion of specialized research. American citizens who went to school before their teachers could draw on this wonderful and moving book need not regret their timing. For general readers, The Republic of Nature offers a thoroughly engaging, intellectual adventure."

Patty Limerick Author of The Legacy of Conquest