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The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History / Edition 1

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Overview

How and why have Americans living at particular times and places used and transformed their environment? How have political systems dealt with conflicts over resources and conservation? This is the only major reference work to explore all the major themes and debates in the burgeoning field of environmental history. Humanity's relationship with the natural world is one of the oldest and newest topics in human history. The issue emerged as a distinct field of scholarship in the early 1970s and has been growing steadily ever since. The discipline's territory and sources are rich and varied and include climatic and geological data, court records, archaeological digs, and the writings of naturalists, as well as federal and state economic and resource development and conservation policy. Environmental historians investigate how and why natural and human-created surroundings affect a society's development. Merchant provides a context-setting overview of American environmental history from the precolonial land-use practice of Native Americans and concluding with twenty-first concerns over global warming. The book also includes a glossary of important concepts, people, agencies, and legislation; a chronology of major events; and an extensive bibliography including films, videos, CD-ROMs, and websites.

This concise reference for students and general readers contains an accessible overview of American environmental history; a mini-encyclopedia of ideas, people, legislation, and agencies; a chronology of events and their significance; and a bibliography of books, magazines, and journals as well as films, videos, CD-ROMs, and online resources.

In addition to providing a wealth of factual information, The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History explores contentious issues in this much-debated field, from the idea of wilderness to global warming.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist

This volume, like others in the series, should prove to be welcome.

American Reference Books Annual

Provides a useful summary of an important subject.

Choice

Essential for colleges, university, and large public libraries, and special libraries supporting U.S. history, ecology, geography, or environmentalism.

Environmental History
This is a one-volume resource not to be missed. It will be our primary reference work on American environmental history.

— John Opie

History

Merchant takes a most useful approach to environmental scholarship by encapsulating a daunting range of factual information and critical information into this practical volume... one of the best books of its kind.

Environment and History

[Carolyn Merchant] is eminently qualified to produce this fifth edition to "The Columbia Guides to American History and Cultures" series... there is a great deal to admire in this guide.

Environmental Practice

An impressive introduction to environmental history... Merchant has succeeded in producing an accessible first stop handbook that will be relied on for many years.

The Quarterly Review of Biology
Merchant has been one of the most important scholars building the field of environmental history. Her excellent guide will be of use to new students in environmental history and to established scholars coming into the field from other areas.

— John H. Perkins

H-Net Reviews
Merchant provides a valuable introduction to the topics and perspectives that characterize the discipline.

— Arn Keeling

Environmental History - John Opie

This is a one-volume resource not to be missed. It will be our primary reference work on American environmental history.

The Quarterly Review of Biology - John H. Perkins

Merchant has been one of the most important scholars building the field of environmental history. Her excellent guide will be of use to new students in environmental history and to established scholars coming into the field from other areas.

H-Net Reviews - Arn Keeling

Merchant provides a valuable introduction to the topics and perspectives that characterize the discipline.

Choice

Essential for colleges, university, and large public libraries, and special libraries supporting U.S. history, ecology, geography, or environmentalism.

Booknews
Merchant (environmental history, philosophy, and ethics, U. of California, Berkeley) wrote the important , a history of culture's centuries old assault and battery of nature, and is president of the American Society for Environmental History. She begins her book with an essay that covers the period 1000-1875 (when Europeans encountered Native Americans) and ends with what Merchant perhaps too optimistically deems The Era of Environmentalism, 1940-2000. Her 200-page historical essay is followed by several appendices: a dictionary or concise encyclopedia of agencies, concepts, laws, and people; a chronology beginning 13,000 years ago and ending in 2000; a list of film and video resources; electronic resources; and a bibliographic essay and gargantuan bibliography organized according to subject. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From The Critics
Merchant (environmental history, philosophy, and ethics, U. of California, Berkeley) wrote the important , a history of culture's centuries old assault and battery of nature, and is president of the American Society for Environmental History. She begins her book with an essay that covers the period 1000-1875 (when Europeans encountered Native Americans) and ends with what Merchant perhaps too optimistically deems The Era of Environmentalism, 1940-2000. Her 200-page historical essay is followed by several appendices: a dictionary or concise encyclopedia of agencies, concepts, laws, and people; a chronology beginning 13,000 years ago and ending in 2000; a list of film and video resources; electronic resources; and a bibliographic essay and gargantuan bibliography organized according to subject. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Carolyn Merchant is the Chancellor's Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of several books including The Death of Nature, Ecological Revolutions, and Earthcare, and is a past-president of the American Society for Environmental History.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Part I: Historical Overview: Topics and Themes 1. The American Environment and Native-European Encounters, 1000-18752. The New England Wilderness Transformed, 1600-18503. The Tobacco and Cotton south, 1600-19004. Nature and the Market Economy, 1750-18505. Western Frontiers: The Settlement of California and the Great Plains, 1820-19306. Urban Environments, 1850-19607. Conservation and Preservation, 1785-19508. Indian Land Policy, 1800-19909. The Rise of Ecology, 1890-199010. The Era of Environmentalism, 1940-2000Part II: American Environmental History A to Z: Agencies, Concepts, Laws, and People Part III: Chronology: An Environmental History Timeline Part IV: Resource Guide Visual ResourcesElectronic ResourcesBibliographical EssayBibliography

Columbia University Press

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