Awards and Reviews for Fur, Fortune, and Empire:
Winner 2011 James P. Hanlan Book Award, given by the New England Historical Association.
Chosen one of the best books of 2010 by The Seattle Times.
Winner 2011 Outdoor Writers Association of America, Excellence in Craft contest, book division, first place.
One of the top ten books of 2010 by the Rocky Mountain Land Library.
Bronze medal in the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards.
Finalist, Reading the West Book Award, 2011, sponsored by the Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association.
"Who'd think you could write a history of the U.S. centered on three centuries of the trade in furs? Dolin has done so in this spirited tale. . . . Beneath this absorbing story lies the relentless drive (a 'lethal wave' in Dolin's words) across the continent. In Dolin's telling, westward expansion wasn't fueled by 'manifest destiny' or the thirst for empire but by the chase after animals. . . . Dolin, the author of the acclaimed Leviathan: The History of Whaling in America, offers another good history, well told." Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
"The fascinating story of the fur trade, full of heroism, greed, violence and political conflict. . . . riveting narrative . . . A delightful history, reminding readers that while noble ideals led to the settling of the United States, the fur trade paid the bills." Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"A superb one-volume examination of an era when American ingenuity and its competitive spirit began to flourish. . . Dolin describes in marvelous detail . . . colorful figures of the American fur trades' western expansion. . . . at last, we now have a book that properly accounts for America's rise as a fur-trade power." Michael Taube -- The Wall Street Journal
"Fur, Fortune, and Empire is no melancholy affair. The book bursts with colorful characters, venal corporations, and violent confrontations, all presented with sharp-eyed clarity in a narrative that clips right along. . . . One of the great pleasures of Eric Jay Dolins work in both Leviathan and Fur, Fortune, and Empire comes in discovering centuries-old antecedents of the economic and natural resource issues that we struggle with today. . . . there are plenty of insights as well as much reading pleasure to be had here." Bruce Barcott -- Audubon Magazine
"Eric Jay Dolin's brilliant account of our nation's fur trade is the best popular history ever written about one of America's most fascinating businesses. This engrossing and masterfully told story marches across a transcontinental stage populated by a host of history's most intriguing characters. . . . As in Leviathan, his highly praised book on U.S. whaling, he restores what most of us regard as an American institution to its rightful place on the international stage. The result is easily the finest tale of the [fur] trade in recent memory, a crisply written tale unburdened by excessive detail or homespun provincialism." Kirk Davis Swinehart -- The Washington Post
"Fur, Fortune, and Empire: The Epic History of the Fur Trade in America is a fascinating, informative and well written history. It should be read by anyone interested in exploration, colonialism, the history of New England, the expansion of the West, capitalism, environmentalism or American History in general. The reader is likely to learn a lot about a topic one may have thought was familiar. And one will be entertained while being informed, which doesn’t get much better for the general reader." Stephen Donnelly -- Historical Journal of Massachusetts
"Though guns, germs and steel certainly played their parts, Dolin's Fur, Fortune, and Empire leaves little doubt that the trade in pelts "was a powerful force in shaping the course of American history from the early 1600s through the late 1800s, playing a major role in the settlement and evolution of the colonies, and in the growth of the United States." Dolin puts forth a compelling and well-annotated tale of greed, slaughter and geopolitics as the Dutch, English, French, Spanish, Swedes, Russians and the American colonists fought for a slice of the profit." Art Winslow -- Los Angeles Times
"Eric Jay Dolin has crafted a stunning companion to his recent history of the American whaling industry. . . . Focusing on the three-century chase for wealth in fur, this lively, balanced, and carefully researched account evokes an epic clash of empires from one end of the continent to the other. The book charts the rise and expansion of the American republic on the back of fur-bearing mammals and chronicles, along the way, a rogues' gallery of astonishingly vivid characters. . . . A wonderful and timely rendering of a heedless and bloody minded age." Ric Burns -- Documentary filmmaker
"Fur, Fortune, and Empire is a comprehensive, intensively researched, and eminently readable history of the North American fur trade, a crucial episode in explaining how the United States became a continental nation." Robert M. Utley -- Author and former Chief Historian of the National Park Service
"Eric Jay Dolin's brilliant account of our nation's fur trade is the best popular history ever written about one of America's most fascinating businesses. This engrossing and masterfully told story marches across a transcontinental stage populated by a host of history's most intriguing characters. Here is the pageant of America writ large!" James A. Hanson -- Chief historian, Museum of the Fur Trade
"Great story telling that weaves the commercial, environmental, and political threads of the history of the American fur trade into a wonderfully readable narrative. . . . History writing of the highest order. . . . It restores the central role of the American fur trade in understanding the development of the United States." Peter Drummey -- Stephen T. Riley Librarian, Massachusetts Historical Society
"Fur, Fortune, and Empire is a fast tour of 300 years witnessing America's westward expansion and settlement. Dolin has researched the fur trades contribution to exploring the wonders of early America. His storytelling pace is powerful and engaging. Here is a view of history with adventure and excitement never taught in the classroom. It is a must read for all who love the wild." Douglas H. Grann -- President and CEO, Wildlife Forever