In this book Jan Albers examines the history--natural, environmental, social, and ultimately human--of one of America's most cherished landscapes: Vermont.Albers shows how Vermont has come to stand for the ideal of unspoiled ruralcommunity, examining both the basis of the state's pastoral image and the equallyreal toll taken by the pressure of human hands on the land. She begins with therelatively light touch of Vermont's Native Americans, then shows how Europeansettlers--armed with a conviction that their claim to the land was "a God-givenright"--shaped the landscape both to meet economic needs and to satisfyphilosophical beliefs. The often turbulent result: a conflict between practicalrequirements and romantic ideals that has persisted to this day.Making lively use ofcontemporary accounts, advertisements, maps, landscape paintings, and vintagephotographs, Albers delves into the stories and personalities behind the developmentof a succession of Vermont landscapes. She observes the growth of communities fromtiny settlements to picturesque villages to bustling cities; traces the developmentof agriculture, forestry, mining, industry, and the influence of burgeoningtechnology; and proceeds to the growth of environmental consciousness, aided by bothprivate initiative and governmental regulation. She reveals how as communitystrengthens, so does responsible stewardship of the land.Albers shows that like anylandscape, the Vermont landscape reflects the human decisions that have been madeabout it--and that the more a community understands about how such decisions havebeen made, the better will be its future decisions.