A Companion to American Environmental History / Edition 1

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"A model compilation It not only takes the analytical measure of the field of American environmental history, it forthrightly blazes trails for the field in the future." William Deverell, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West" "A fantastic guide to environmental history that will change how you think about the past." Ted Steinberg, Case Western Reserve University" "This superb volume, a collaboration of established scholars and rising stars, is now the essential guide to the expanding field of environmental history." Elliott West, University of Arkansas" A Companion to American Environmental History gathers together a comprehensive collection of over 30 essays that examine the evolving and diverse field of American environmental history, and not only presents a state-of-the-field as it stands, but also expands the current scholarship. With contributions from the founders of this unique branch of history, and the work of innovative young scholars, this Companion presents a bold vision for the future of environmental history, as well as a critical appreciation of its growth and development. The essays in this volume are presented in five parts, covering a diverse set of topics that range from American Indian environmental relations, oceans, and food, to borders, culture, and identity. Combining a complete historiography with the most recent research and trends, the Companion pushes the existing boundaries of the field and encourages new directions of study.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“A Companion to American Environmental History gathers together a comprehensive collection of over 30 essays that examine the evolving and diverse field of American environmental history.”  (Native American Encyclopedia, 8 January 2014)

“No short review can do justice to the richness and variety of the essays contained in this lengthy volume, which will prove useful to advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and seasoned scholars alike.”  (Journal of the History of Biology, 2011)

"The volume admirably covers material and cultural approaches to environmental history... I was impressed with the thoroughness and clarity of almost all the entries. (Environmental History, 1January 2012)

 The American Society for Environmental History was organized in 1976, and this companion volume celebrates its members' achievements during the past one-third century. The book presents diverse perspectives and topics in 32chapters, including "Fire," "Air," "Race and US Environmental History," "Class," "Gender," "Flora," "Fauna," "Cities and Suburbs," "Who Cares about Forests?" and "Oceans." No individual chapter focuses on pollution or environmental degradation, though these topics appear in several contexts. Many chapters offer revisionist history, bypassing traditional environmental heroes or emphasis on wilderness, conservation, and preservation. Instead, they discuss Indians, herdsmen, lumbermen, and farmers. Indians, not invariably stewards of the environment, became part of European trade networks and were favorably impacted by the introduction of horses. Dams improved economies but also degraded fisheries. All but one chapter have excellent bibliographies. Most bibliographies emphasize books, and the Society's journal, Environmental History, does not receive any special attention. Anyone who wishes to study or research a topic in American environmental history can quickly learn from one or more chapters what has already been written on the subject and how environmental historians evaluate that particular literature. Although there are no illustrations, diagrams, or maps, this volume is a critical acquisition for all academic library reference collections." (CHOICE, December 2010)

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Douglas Cazaux Sackman is Professor of History at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. His publications include Wild Men: Ishi and Kroeber in the Wilderness of Modern America (2010) and Orange Empire: California and the Fruits of Eden (2005), winner of the 2006 Martin Ridge Award. His next book, Pacific Passages, will explore transpacific exchanges of culture and nature, focusing on the traffic in otters, whales, and trees.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors


Part I The Elements of Environmental History 1

1 Paths Toward Home: Landmarks of the Field in Environmental History Louis S. Warren Warren, Louis S. 3

2 Air Nancy Langston Langston, Nancy 33

3 The Living Earth: History, Darwinian Evolution, and the Grasslands Donald Worster Worster, Donald 51

4 Fire Stephen J. Pyne Pyne, Stephen J. 69

5 Water Rebecca Solnit Solnit, Rebecca 92

Part II Nature and the Construction of Society and Identity 97

6 Race and US Environmental History Colin Fisher Fisher, Colin 99

7 Gender Douglas Cazaux Sackman Sackman, Douglas Cazaux 116

8 Class Chad Montrie Montrie, Chad 146

9 Body Counts: Tracking the Human Body Through Environmental History Neil M. Maher Maher, Neil M. 163

Part III The Nature of American Culture 181

10 From Wilderness to Hybrid Landscapes: The Cultural Turn in Environmental History Richard White White, Richard 183

11 American Indian Environmental Relations David Rich Lewis Lewis, David Rich 191

12 Cultures of Nature: To ca. 1810 Matthew Dennis Dennis, Matthew 214

13 Cultures of Nature: Nineteenth Century Aaron Sachs Sachs, Aaron 246

14 Cultures of Nature: Twentieth Century Finis Dunaway Dunaway, Finis 266

15 From Wilderness Prophets to Tool Freaks: Post-World War II Environmentalism Andrew Kirk Kirk, Andrew 285

16 The Black Box in the Garden: Consumers and the Environment Tom McCarthy McCarthy, Tom 304

Part IV Contact Zones: Americans Conjoining the Natural World 325

17 Flora Frieda Knobloch Knobloch, Frieda 327

18 Fauna: A Prospectus for Evolutionary History Edmund Russell Russell, Edmund 345

19 Water Development: The Plot Thickens Patty Limerick Limerick, Patty 375

20 Rich Crevices of Inquiry: Mining and Environmental History Katherine G. Morrissey Morrissey, Katherine G. 394

21 Who Cares About Forests? How Forest History Matters Ellen Stroud Stroud, Ellen 410

22 Cultivating an Agro-Environmental History Sara M. Gregg Gregg, Sara M. 425

23 Oceans: Fusing the History of Science and Technology with Environmental History Helen M. Rozwadowski Rozwadowski, Helen M. 442

24 Cities and Suburbs Chris Sellers Sellers, Chris 462

25 Energy and Transportation Brian Black Black, Brian 482

26 The Global Ecological Reach of the United States: Exporting Capital and Importing Commodities Richard P. Tucker Tucker, Richard P. 505

27 Food Douglas Cazaux Sackman Sackman, Douglas Cazaux 529

Part V Outside of the Grid: Place, Borders, and Scale 551

28 Blinded by History: The Geographic Dimension of Environment and Society Sarah Thomas Thomas, Sarah 553

29 The Northeastern Pacific Basin: An Environmental Approach to Seascapes and Littoral Places David Igler Igler, David 579

30 Earthlings: Evolution and Place in Environmental History Dan Flores Flores, Dan 595

31 "Most Fruitful Results": Transborder Approaches to Canadian-American Environmental History Ted Binnema Binnema, Ted 615

32 Seeing Beyond Our Borders: US and Non-US Historiographies Paul Sutter Sutter, Paul 635

Index 653

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