Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Artificial River

The Artificial River

The Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1862

Carol Sheriff

Hill and Wang

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The story of the Eric Canal is the story of industrial and economic progress between the War of 1812 and the Civil War. The Artificial River reveals the human dimension of the story of the Erie Canal. Carol Sheriff's extensive, innovative archival research shows the varied responses of ordinary people-farmers, businessmen, government officials, tourists, workers-to this major environmental, social, and cultural transformation in the early life of the Republic.

Winner of Best Manuscript Award from the New York State Historical Association

The Artificial River is deeply researched, its arguments are both subtle and clear, and it is written with grace and an engagingly light touch. The book merits a wide readership.” —Paul Johnson, The Journal of American History

EXCERPT

The Artificial River

1
Visions of Progress
ON JULY 4, 1817, at daybreak, cannons boomed as a crowd assembled near Rome, New York, to watch the digging of the first spadeful of Erie Canal dirt. The honor...

Reviews

Praise for The Artificial River

“The Artificial River is deeply researched, its arguments are both subtle and clear, and it is written with grace and an engagingly light touch. The book merits a wide readership.” —Paul Johnson, The Journal of American History

“A beautifully written and unpretentious book that reveals how little historians have known about something they have written so much about: the Ere Canal.” —Richard White, University of Washington

“[Sheriff] renders the Erie Canal's history from a fresh point of view . . . the everyday lives of ordinary people who lived along the waterway.” —Paul Grondahl, Albany Times Union

“Broadly conceived, imaginatively researched, incisively argued, and gracefully written.” —Robert H. Wiebe, Northwestern University

“An excellent study of an important, all too often neglected period.” —Lee Milazzo, The Dallas Morning News

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About the author

Carol Sheriff

Carol Sheriff, a native of Bethesda, Maryland, received her B.A. from Wesleyan University and her Ph.D. from Yale University. She is assistant professor of history at the College of William and Mary. Her books include A People at War and A People and a Nation. She lives in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Carol Sheriff

Carol Sheriff

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Hill and Wang

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