The First Frontier

Saltwater Frontier book cover

Any book that challenges the idea of frontier, and the traditional idea of the “American Western Frontier,” I am drawn to because I believe it gives us all a greater perspective and context to the understanding of the European settlement of North America. Andrew Lipman’s The Saltwater Frontier: Indians and the Contest for the American Coast from Yale University Press is a brilliant reimagining of the English and Dutch settlements in New England and New York, and the role that the Atlantic Ocean played, as a frontier between the Native tribes and the European empires. Lipman’s research and re-analysis of 17th century northeastern history provides an illumination on our past that can be used as both a new model to reevaluate the idea of “frontier” on other coasts of the Americas, but also in comparison and contrast to what oceans mean today, like the Arctic, as modern “frontiers” of trade and competition in the global market place. For more information or to order a copy go to Yale University Press’s website Yalebooks.com.

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