Rethinking the Fur Trade: Cultures of Exchange in an Atlantic World

SKU: 9780803243293

Susan Sleeper-Smith
Grade Levels:
College, University
Multiple Nations
Book Type:
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright Data:

Sale price$67.50


Rethinking the Fur Trade: Cultures of Exchange in an Atlantic World exposes what has been called the "invisible hand of indigenous commerce", revealing how it changed European interaction with Indians, influenced what was produced to serve the interests of Indian customers, and led to important cultural innovations. The initial essays explain the working mechanisms of the fur trade and explore how and why it evolved in a North Atlantic context. The second section examines Indigenous perspectives through primary-source writings from the period and considers newly evolving Indigenous perspectives about the fur trade. The final sections analyze the social history of the fur trade, the profound effect of the cloth trade on Indian dress and culture, and the significance of gender, kinship, and community in the workings of economic exchange. Rethinking the Fur Trade offers a nuanced look at the broad range of contracts that characterized the fur trade, a phenomenon that has often been oversimplified and misrepresented. These essays show how the role of Native Americans was far more instrumental in the conduct and outcome of the fur trade than previously suggested. Editor is Susan Sleeper-Smith, professor of history at Michigan State University.

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