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by James Fenimore Cooper
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Set in the immense landscape of the Great Plains, The Prairie (1827) addresses many questions raised by the penetration of the American west: the displacement of the Indians, the destruction of nature, and the creation of a just society both ordered and free. Natty Bumppo, a man now in the
autumn of his days, is the spokesman for the conservation of the natural environment. But as his physical prowess wanes he is ultimately unable to thwart the despoilers. In this, the last in the series of five Leatherstocking Tales, Cooper resolves the issues of The Pioneers and The Last of the
Mohicans, but at the same time eloquently suggests that humility, self-control, reverence for God, and respect for nature are tragically lost on the prairie.
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