William Cronon’s Changes in the Land presaged a radical turn in environmental thought. His seminal work dramatically reconstructed our view of pre-colonial New England. He dismissed entirely the received history that portrayed pre-colonial America as an uninhabited pristine wilderness. In the process he gave Native Americans agency, and forever blurred the line between humans and nature. Since Changes it has become impossible to realistically think about humans as distinct from the “environment.”
Veak, Tyler, "Environmental History of New England: William Cronon’s Changes in the Land" (2002). Faculty Publications and Presentations. 11.