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The Green Cathedral: Sustainable Development of Amazonia. By Juan de Onis.

Nature Incorporated: Industrialization and the Waters of New England. By Theodore Steinberg

From the titles of these books, you might not guess that they are both about rivers. The first, not surprisingly, is about the Amazon. The second is about the Merrimack.

The what? Yes, that's right, the Merrimack, and an important river it was, too, in its day. Theodore Steinberg's fascinating new book is one of a growing number of environmental histories, following the trail marked out in such wonderful studies as William Cronon's Changes in the Land about the New England colonies' evolving environment, or Arthur McEvoy's The Fisherman's Problem on the succession of fishing ecologies of California. In the Merrimack, Steinberg has located exactly the right river to take up the environmental issues lurking behind early nineteenth-century industrial development.

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