Covering more than two centuries, The Beaver Men ranges from the beginning of the beaver trade along the St. Lawrence to the last great rendezvous of traders and trappers on Ham's Fork, in what is now Wyoming, in 1834.
"This book is not so much an historical study as a careful and intelligently drawn portrait of a world. . .that of the Great Plains during the period 1630-1834. [Mari Sandoz's] point of focus is the hunting of the beaver, but the cumulative effect of the study is much broader than the conventional historical examination. Her essential concern is ecological: the relations of living creatures with each other and with their physical world. It is this perspective, unique among chroniclers of the fur trade that gives the book its very considerable value. . . . Miss Sandoz's treatment of the Indian role is a good deal more complete than most studies; her sources include Indian documentation as well as the more conventional white man's documentation."—Colorado Magazine