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DanAllosso

DanAllosso

Currently reading

400 Years Of Freethought
Samuel Porter Putnam
Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power
Jon Meacham
Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version
Philip Pullman, Jacob Grimm
Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas Jefferson and Emily Dickinson
Jennifer Michael Hecht
The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th-Century America
Paul E. Johnson, Sean Wilentz

The Great Frontier

The Great Frontier - Walter Prescott Webb Webb recasts the story of the frontier as a global story of the “great boom” that began with the discovery of the New World. In what sounds a little like central place theory for the common man (Christaller wasn’t translated into English until 1966), Webb argues that the four-hundred year existence of the frontier gave the old European center access to “inherently a vast body of wealth without proprietors.” In a 1953 review, David Potter praised Webb’s expansion of the Turner thesis beyond the American West and beyond Turner’s strict agrarianism, but criticizes Webb’s “disregard of technology as a factor” and his “geographic determinism.” Potter subtly recasts Webb’s argument as recognition of “historical patterns which, because of their very magnitude…had never [been] perceived as a whole.” Like the Ag. Historians’ arguments against Malthus, these may have been valid at the time; but at some point we probably need to reassess limits to growth and the idea that a boom caused by relatively “free” access to abundant resources may not last forever.