Amy Kohout, "Taking the Field: Soldiers, Nature, and Empire on American Frontiers" (U Nebraska Press, 2023)

Summary

The US military didn't just conquer its way across the US West and the Pacific - it also collected and categorized across these spaces too. In Taking the Field: Soldiers, Nature, and Empire on American Frontiers (U Nebraska Press, 2023), Colorado College's Amy Kohout examines the role of soldiers in the construction of imperial knowledge. By examining how soldiers interpreted the people and places they encountered in the West and in the Philippines at the end of the nineteenth century, Kohout explains how science and the military worked hand in hand to define ideas like wilderness and nature in places newly acquired and explored by the growing American empire. The book addresses a range of topics, from birds to the Black Hills to World's Fairs, and shows how following one's sources can lead a historian to some very interesting, as well as messy, places and conclusions. 

Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

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Stephen Hausmann

Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and is the Acting Executive Director of the American Society for Environmental History.

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