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Book review: 'Fur, Fortune, and Empire'
Book review: 'Fur, Fortune, and Empire'

Fur, Fortune, and EmpireThe Epic History of the Fur Trade in AmericaEric Jay DolinW.W. Norton, 444 pp., $29.95In "Company of Adventurers," the first of a three-part history of the Hudson's Bay Co., Peter C. Newman wrote: "Seldom has an animal exercised such a profound influence on the history of a country. Men defied oceans and hacked their way across North America; armies and navies clashed under the polar moon; an Indian civilization was debauched — all in quest of the pug-nosed rodent with the lustrous fur."The hunt for the lowly beaver almost inadvertently "turned into the quest for a nation," Newman wrote, and while his account focuses on Canada, Eric Jay Dolin adapts the...