image of a canoe over placid river waters

Rediscovering the Maine Woods

Thoreau's Legacy in an Unsettled Land

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The Maine Woods, vast and largely unsettled, are often described as unchanged since Henry David Thoreau’s journeys across the backcountry, in spite of the realities of Indian dispossession and the visible signs of logging, settlement, tourism, and real estate development. In the summer of 2014 scholars, activists, members of the Penobscot Nation, and other individuals retraced Thoreau’s route.

Inspired partly by this expedition, the accessible and engaging essays here offer valuable new perspectives on conservation, the cultural ties that connect Native communities to the land, and the profound influence the geography of the Maine Woods had on Thoreau and writers and activists who followed in his wake. Together, these essays offer a rich and multifaceted look at this special place and the ways in which Thoreau’s Maine experiences continue to shape understandings of the environment a century and a half later.

Contributors include the volume editor, Kathryn Dolan, James S. Finley, James Francis, Richard W. Judd, Dale Potts, Melissa Sexton, Chris Sockalexis, Stan Tag, Robert M. Thorson, and Laura Dassow Walls.

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