Leila Philip

2018 Baron Fellow
Woodstock, CT


Research at AAS

Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America

In Beaverland: How One Weird Rodent Made America, Philip traces the beaver’s profound influence on the early trans-Atlantic trade in North America and feverish western expansion, which gave the country its first corporations and multi-millionaires. In her pursuit of this wonderfully compelling animal, she also follows contemporary fur trappers who lead her through waist high water, fur traders and fur auctioneers, as well as wildlife managers, PETA activists, Native American environmental vigilantes, scientists, engineers, and the colorful group of activists known as beaver believers. Beaverland is a poignant personal narrative, a startling portrait of the secretive world of the contemporary fur trade, and an engrossing ecological and historical investigation of these heroic animals who, once trapped to the point of extinction, have returned to the landscape as one of the greatest conservation stories of the 20th century.

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