An insightful, exhaustive look at how industrialization led to rapid commercial exploitation of many bird species during the late 19th century... It's thorough and original, and will help to better understand present-day North American wildlife conservation and the challenges it faces.
The Market in Birds painstakingly documents how market hunting became a modern industry, how each stage in the process of securing, transporting, and selling birds was accomplished, and how the rapid growth of the commercial trade in birds shaped debates and policies surrounding wildlife decline at the turn of the twentieth century. Smalley's groundbreaking work also shows how the meteoric rise of the modern commercial market in birds spawned a growing awareness of the fragility of America's wildlife populations and new ways to think about the value of wildness. Quite simply, there is nothing that compares to this work in terms of illuminating the full scope, scale, and consequences of bird commodification in America.
What a remarkable collaboration of strangers is this magnificent book. It emerged from the inspiration, wisdom, and tenacity of the late Henry M. (Milt) Reeves, wildlife biologist, author, and nonpareil researcher. Reeves provided a manuscript platform for historian Andrea L. Smalley to organize and augment his material and provide creditable context to the commercialization and conservation of American wildlife.
Evaluating today's relationships with nature is greatly aided by reflecting on historic relationships. But meaningful evaluation requires accurate histories whose textured complexity matches the times they chronicle. The Market in Birds provides just such a history for an important episode in American conservation.
Prologue. For the Birds
1. The Hunter
2. The Dealer
3. The Hunted
4. The Sportsman
5. The Criminal
6. The Conservationist
Epilogue. The Culture of Conservation