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

3.30  ·  Rating Details  ·  127 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Winner of Best Manuscript Award from the New York State Historical Association

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 transf
Paperback, 272 pages
Published June 12th 1997 by Hill and Wang (first published 1996)
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Jan 30, 2016 Stephen rated it really liked it
The Artificial River: the Erie Canal and the Paradox of Progress, 1817-1867
1997 Carol Sheriff
272 pages

At the dawn of a new century, the two-decade old American republic stood hemmed in between storm-tossed Atlantic ocean and the towering Appalachian mountains. Beyond them lay the west, sparsely settled but full of potential, stifled only by the dangers and isolation of the wilderness. But then the state of New York summoned the will and resources to create a river where there had been none befo
Kevin Gardner
Feb 20, 2015 Kevin Gardner rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this and the Bond of Union. I think both books need to be read for a well rounded understanding of the Erie Canal and those involved in the event that altered the American Landscape. This book had a faster pace and told more about the average worker than bond of Union, but provides excellent insights to the men, such as DeWitt Clinton behind the project.
Melanie Johnson
This book is great for a high school classroom
Mar 18, 2009 Mickey rated it it was ok
This book is about the Erie Canal and when it was being made. Sheriff talks about how the canal was suppose to be a show of America's progress. It ends up not even barely being recognized because of the coming of the railroad and the Civil War.
This book goes over very well what was happening in the time period and how the canal effected many people's lives in the area, I personally just was not that interested in the novel itself.
If you are a history buff, then you will probably enjoy this nov
Gary Comins
Jul 09, 2013 Gary Comins rated it really liked it
Shelves: local-authors
Many of us know the story of the Erie Canal and it's role in shaping New York's economy. Sheriff goes at the topic from the aspect of the canal's effect on human condition during the antebellum period. A really good read that combines the canal's history with it's effects on the politicians, the workers and the public.
Nov 25, 2012 Rusty rated it really liked it
One gains an appreciation of the magnificent engineering accomplishment the Erie Canal truly was. It was built in the pre-Industrial Revolution days and was a multicultural achievement. Like the Transcontinental Railroad, it proved what Americans can do when they work together.
Oct 23, 2008 Kyla rated it it was ok
it seems as if this author took on a bit too large of a subject. this leaves the book feeling a little unfinished and it does not flow all that well. Still, an interesting read for those who want to know more about the Erie Canal.
May 21, 2008 Robshelton365 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Excellent analysis of what the canal meant. Should be read with Peter May's work on canal workers.
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