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The real Hugh Glass, making of the Revenant, and tragedies of the fur trade

Eric Jay Dolin, author of Fur, Fortune and Empire, talked with Liz Stebbins and Rob Moir about the history behind Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Hugh Glass, in The Revenant as well as back stories to film and awards. A riveting natural history writer, Dolin helps separate fact from fiction in The Revenant compared to the true story of “mountain men” in early 1800s America. From the decimation of the beaver and bison populations to the first call for selective hunting of seals in the Pacific Northwest, Dolin speaks to the tragedy of resource exploitation and in response the birth of conservation.

Finally, Eric discusses his not yet released book on the history of lighthouses – Brilliant Beacons, and how his research led him to lighthouses all over the country.  Eric descries going into the Marblehead (MA) lighthouse, ascending the steep, tightly spiraled iron staircase – a spindly structure over a hundred feet tall – to the cramped lantern room above.  Eric was astounded by how many people are seriously interested in lighthouses, until he discovered they are often outstanding in some of the most beautiful landscapes in America.

Click below for:

Moir’s Episode 31, The Natural History of the American Fur Industry, plus Eric’s personal account on becoming an environmental policy expert.

Moir’s Episode 44, Leviathan, The History of Whaling in America with Eric Jay Dolin.

Moir’s Episode 67, China, Colonial America’s Silicon Valley, Consumerism and Exploitations with Eric Jay Dolin.