Canoes: A Natural History in North America
Ancient records of canoes are found from the Pacific Northwest to the coast of Maine, in Minnesota and Mexico, in the Southeast and across the Caribbean. And if a native of those distant times might encounter a canoe of our day—whether birch bark or dugout or a modern marvel made of carbon fiber—its silhouette would be instantly recognizable. This is the story of that singular American artifact, so little changed over time: of canoes, old and new, the people who made them, and the labors and adventures they shared. With features of technology, industry, art, and survival, the canoe carries us deep into the natural and cultural history of North America.
In the foreword by Pulitzer Prize–winner John McPhee, we dip into the experience of canoeing, from the thrilling challenges of childhood camp expeditions to the moving reflections of long-time paddlers. The pages that follow are filled with historical photographs and artwork, authors Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims describe the dugout and birch bark craft from their first known appearance through the exploration of Canada by fur traders, to the recreational movements that promoted all-wood and wood-and-canvas canoes. Modern materials such as aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic expanded participation and connected canoeists with emerging environmental movements.
- Author: Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims, Foreword by John McPhee
- Publisher: University of Minnesota Press (November 2016)
- Format: Cloth/jacket, 416 pages, 95 b&w plates, 228 color plates, 10 x 8
- ISBN 978-0-8166-8117-4