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Summary

In an era of grand risk, fur moguls vied to command the northwest and China markets, gambling lives and capital on the price of beaver pelts, purchases of ships and trade goods, international commerce laws, and the effects of war.

©2016 Board of Regents of Washington State University (P)2017 Redwood Audiobooks

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Not an introductory text

I received a review copy of this book. The information given was very interesting and it was all narrated. This is an excellent book for those with some familiarity of the trade that are looking for additional information. For those such as myself work minimal knowledge of the subject area I felt a lot of the more nuanced information was lost on me. This is a book I will need to come back to once I have read other books on the subject area.

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Gamble on this real story

I remember this historical events in high school. This is about the 18th and 19th fur trade that shaped not only the US but North America as a whole . It’s a story that will open your eyes how the settlers made a living in the US . The events really happened . Bill Nevitt narrating this story was great . Bill makes you understand the story

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The Keystone Cops conquest of the Columbia.

This densely detailed book charts the attempts to open up the trading routes in the Pacific North West in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries. Battling through thousands of miles of harsh weather and scenery, facing uncertainties and enduring biting insects, untrustworthy opponents and native Indians upon whom they often had to rely for help without the advantage of a shared language or knowledge of terrain, the attempt to establish a profitable business based on fur sales was ultimately doomed to fail. But the stories of the men involved, the clandestine acts, illicit deals, lives lost, personality clashes, misunderstandings and just plain failure to understand their market, make for a wonderful peek into a world which really was wild. This is not an easy read. Covering a huge area of place and time as well as personalities, it requires concentration to follow all of the subject matter. Narrator Bill Nevitt's clearly enunciated reading, performed with steady pace, makes this as easy as it can be. A book to marvel at - individuals driven and daring, and stupidity and rivalry also. An enormous amount of research has gone into compiling this book. The Fur Trade Gamble is not a book for everyone, but if reconstructed historic records of place, time and men's achievement, even in the face of failure, are of interest then this book comes highly recommended.

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Profile Image for Sarah Moon
  • Sarah Moon
  • 09-07-17

Very Interesting History

What made the experience of listening to The Fur Trade Gamble the most enjoyable?

So much of the history came from the traders logs as well as the documentation of the fur trader companies. It was amazing the companies stayed in business as little money was made.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fur Trade Gamble?

There was a census made of the number of people that lived in the fort I believe it was and there were X number of white men, X number of native and the women who of course belonged to the fort.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

I wish the narrator had taken the time to learn to pronounce the names of the States, rivers, Indian tribes, etc of the Pacific North West before he read the book. I did not realize how much mispronouncing Oregon got on my nerves until this book.

Any additional comments?

Although the narrator was not ready to do this book the information is interesting. I love the history of my region and there were things I was not aware of. Although we all learned of Lewis and Clark and we knew fur trading was an important source of income, I did not realize just how many lives were lost in the process nor how much it factored into the settlement of the region. Even though I live in the town of Beaverton, I never think of the fur trade having been here.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mary Karowski
  • 03-01-21

A fascinating and captivating tale of the fur trade

You hear a lot about the fur trade and it’s impact on the growth of the nation. It’s hard to really wrap your head around that though without knowing more. This is a fascinating economic and political in depth examination of the fur trade. I found it truly captivating and entertaining. Anyone who wants to know more Of the time should Listen to it. And if you are a fan of trade and world economics it’s even more amazing. I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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  • mike s.
  • 23-12-20

Truly immersive

Great, lessor known tale of history. Truly immersive with a great perspective. Highly recommended. Talented Voice artist.

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  • jay
  • 10-12-20

Nice insights to a specific slice of history

The Fur Trade Gamble: North West Company on the Pacific Slope, 1800 1820 is about the fur trade gamble that the North West Company took in the Northwest U.S. states circa 1800 1820....Handy title that! When history books get as specific as the focus of this one is, you really can only recommend it to readers with in inherent interest in said subject. Even if you're a fan of say "all things west coast," you still may find this one too dull in its myopia. However, if you like nothing more than diving into a history book about western expansion, furriers, the Columbia River Valley or interactions with Pacific Northwest Native Americans, just go ahead and throw your money at this. Fans of the movie Jeremiah Johnson would dig the shizz outta this! I picked up a copy of this through Audio Boom (in exchange for an honest review, I should add) and their purpose in giving up these free downloads is to receive reviews specific to the narration, so here we go... Narrator Bill Nevitt could use some work. He flat out mispronounced a handful of words and talked himself out of breath on occasion, speaking without breathing for so long that by the end of a sentence he was forced to gasp through the final wah-erd. These negatives are few and mostly apparent at the start of the book. By the end, he seemed to have things under control. On the plus side, the character and quality of Nevitt's voice suits history books to a tee, to a tee I say!

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  • Sean Lowman
  • 16-06-20

Gamble on a good read

I enjoyed this not well known story of the men and women who blazed into the Pacific Northwest to gamble on fur trapping. I'm a huge fan of Lewis and Clark, but after their famous journey, most history books don't tell you what happened in the Pacific Northwest until the Oregon Trail starts bringing settlers. This books fills in that blank quite well. It is the story of competition, not only between the American and British nations, but between the Northwest Company and the Astoria Company. Along the way you meet the many determined individuals who left there mark on the land. The author goes into great detail about the goings on at the Pacific slope as well as the machinations occurring in Montreal and New York, and how events in London and China would impact them. I like a lot of detail in my histories and this book has them. In some places I found myself overwhelmed by all the names of people involved and had a hard time keeping track of them. But it is an entertaining story if you're into pioneers, the wilderness, and traders. One downside to listening to this in audiobook form is that there were no accompanying maps that I could look at to help me visualize where these fur trappers and traders were coming and going. I recommend printing out some good maps of the western US and Canada from the early 1800's before sitting down to listen to this book. You will be able to follow the story better with maps. The narrator deftly tells this story with energy, but he doesn't rush it. His pauses give the listener a moment to take in what they have just heard. His voice is clear, distinct, and easy to listen to.

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  • Donna Wiebe
  • 15-09-19

Information galore. Wonderful historic telling!

This author has done a great job of gathering all sorts of detailed information and stories about the history of the fur trade in the northern area of North America. Lots of things that I did not know were revealed and the historic stories and characters were enjoyable to learn about. I thought the narration was well done and brought the topic alive. A definite book for history buffs!

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  • John
  • 09-04-19

An expansive, detailed history of the US fur trade

For those interested in the history of the Northwest US, particularly the fur trade and those people involved, this book is an expansive, detailed, scholarly work full of information with interesting stories and characters. The narration is engaging and keeps the listener involved in the substantial text. This is a lot of information. I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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  • Rayc
  • 23-03-19

Deep and detailed history

The Fur Trade Gamble: North West Company on the Pacific Slope, 1800-1820.. History in great depth. This book is a superb addition to American/Canadian history, a serious work detailing the opening up of the northwest. Good clear narration by Bill Nevitt makes this an easy book to listen too. One suggestion to listeners have a map of the area handy, as sometimes it's difficult to picture different areas and rivers. It made my listening easier. I was given a free copy of this audio book at my own request, and voluntarily leave this review.

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  • Rabid Reader
  • 22-03-19

A must for history buffs

This is a long, non-fiction work detailing the history of the fur trade and trade routes in northwestern US in the 18th & 19th century, and it contains a lot of recognizable names that you would never have guessed had a hand in this trade. It is densely detailed and shows the hardships, rivalries, landscape, encounters, companies, personalities, difficulties and stupidities well. I’m not sure, had I been reading the actual book (as opposed to the audiobook), if I would have stuck with it to the end but Bill Nevitt’s smooth, well-paced narration easily pulls you in and immerses you in a world of trappers, Native Americans, survival and the wild, unforgiving landscape of the fur trade. If you are a lover of American history, then this audiobook will be for you.

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  • Deedra
  • 20-03-19

The Fur Trade Gamble

Who would think that the fur trade in the 1800's could be so interestng?! I learned a lot.I recognized so many names that I would never guess had a hand in this trade.Bill Nevitt did a fine job narrating. I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.