A Companion to Global Environmental History

Overview

The Companion to Global Environmental History offers multiple points of entry into the history and historiography of this dynamic and fast-growing field, to provide an essential road map to past developments, current controversies, and future developments for specialists and newcomers alike.
  • Combines temporal, geographic, thematic and contextual approaches from prehistory to the present day
  • Explores environmental thought and action around the ...
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A Companion to Global Environmental History

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Overview

The Companion to Global Environmental History offers multiple points of entry into the history and historiography of this dynamic and fast-growing field, to provide an essential road map to past developments, current controversies, and future developments for specialists and newcomers alike.
  • Combines temporal, geographic, thematic and contextual approaches from prehistory to the present day
  • Explores environmental thought and action around the world, to give readers a cultural, intellectual and political context for engagement with the environment in modern times
  • Brings together environmental historians from around the world, including scholars from South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and China
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This is an interesting book." (Reference Reviews, 1 March 2014)

“Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through professionals.” (Choice, 1 September 2013)

Library Journal
Editors McNeill (Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean; The Human Web: A Bird's-Eye View of World History) and Mauldin have compiled 28 essays on the influence and interdependence of environmental factors and the living world. Each essay delves into an area of global environmental history, such as how geography and climate affected early human migration, how harvesting trees affected shipbuilding and hence the ability to explore and defend land, and how theology that encourages mastery of natural elements influences environmental history differently from theology that encourages harmony with nature. Books such as Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel (Norton 2005) and Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma (Penguin, 2007) have touched on some of these topics for the general reader, but McNeill and Mauldin's book covers this relatively new field in a broader and more academic way. The first section addresses environmental history chronologically, and the latter three sections are roughly grouped by place, theme, and current issues such as the environmental impact of China and how economic issues affect environmental issues. The intelligent essays, written primarily by college professors, and occasionally by PhD candidates, are between 15–20 pages, with thorough notes, references, and sometimes suggested further reading. The black-and-white maps add clarity. VERDICT Adults, college students, and thoughtful high school readers interested in environmental topics out of the "global warming" mainstream can find here meaty examination of such diverse subjects as poaching, Agent Orange, the environmental effects of expanding urban areas, and the commercial livestock industry.—Maggie Knapp, Trinity Valley School, Fort Worth, TX
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Product Details

Meet the Author

J. R. McNeill is Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he held the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environmental and International Affairs before becoming University Professor in 2006. His book Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World was listed by The Times as one of the best science books ever written. The book was cowinner of the World History Association and Forest History Society book prizes and runner-up for the BP Natural World book prize. McNeill has authored a number of other award-winning books on environmental history, and in 2010 he was awarded the Toynbee Prize for “academic and public contributions to humanity.”

Erin Stewart Mauldin is a PhD candidate in US environmental history at Georgetown University. She is currently writing her dissertation on the environmental history of the Reconstruction period in the southern United States.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps x

Notes on Contributors xi

Acknowledgments xv

Global Environmental History: An Introduction xvi
J. R. McNeill and Erin Stewart Mauldin

PART I TIMES 1
1 Global Environmental History: The First 150,000 Years 3
J. R. McNeill

2 The Ancient World, c. 500

BCE to 500 CE 18
J. Donald Hughes

3 The Medieval World, 500 to 1500 CE 39
Daniel Headrick

4 The (Modern) World since 1500 57
Robert B. Marks

PART II PLACES 79

5 Southeast Asia in Global Environmental History 81
Peter Boomgaard

6 Environmental History in Africa 96
Jane Carruthers

7 Latin America in Global Environmental History 116
Shawn W. Miller

8 The United States in Global Environmental History 132
Erin Stewart Mauldin

9 The Arctic and Subarctic in Global Environmental History 153
Liza Piper

10 The Middle East in Global Environmental History 167
Alan Mikhail

11 Australia in Global Environmental History 182
Libby Robin

12 Oceania: The Environmental History of One-Third of the Globe 196
Paul D'Arcy

13 The Environmental History of the Soviet Union 222
Stephen Brain

PART III DRIVERS OF CHANGE AND ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSFORMATIONS 245

14 The Grasslands of North America and Russia 247
David Moon

15 Global Forests 263
Nancy Langston

16 Fishing and Whaling 279
Micah S. Muscolino

17 Riverine Environments 297
Alan Roe

18 War and the Environment 319
Richard P. Tucker

19 Technology and the Environment 340
Paul Josephson

20 Cities and the Environment 360
Jordan Bauer and Martin V. Melosi

21 Evolution and the Environment 377
Edmund Russell

22 Climate Change in Global Environmental History 394
Sam White

23 Industrial Agriculture 411
Meredith McKittrick

24 Biological Exchange in Global Environmental History 433
J. R. McNeill

PART IV ENVIRONMENTAL THOUGHT AND ACTION 453

25 Environmentalism in Brazil: A Historical Perspective 455
José Augusto Pádua

26 Environmentalism and Environmental Movements in China since 1949 474
Bao Maohong

27 Religion and Environmentalism 493
Joachim Radkau

28 The Environmentalism of the Poor: Its Origins and Spread 513
Joan Martinez-Alier

Index 530

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