The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany

The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany

by David Blackbourn
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0393329992

ISBN-13: 9780393329995

Pub. Date: 08/13/2007

Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.

"Brilliantly conceived....[A] tour de force in historical writing."—Ian Kershaw
Majestic and lyrically written, The Conquest of Nature traces the rise of Germany through the development of water and landscape. David Blackbourn begins his morality tale in the mid-1700s, with the epic story of Frederick the Great, who attempted—by importing the great

Overview

"Brilliantly conceived....[A] tour de force in historical writing."—Ian Kershaw
Majestic and lyrically written, The Conquest of Nature traces the rise of Germany through the development of water and landscape. David Blackbourn begins his morality tale in the mid-1700s, with the epic story of Frederick the Great, who attempted—by importing the great scientific minds of the West and by harnessing the power of his army—to transform the uninhabitable marshlands of his scattered kingdom into a modern state. Chronicling the great engineering projects that reshaped the mighty Rhine, the emergence of an ambitious German navy, and the development of hydroelectric power to fuel Germany's convulsive industrial growth before World War I, Blackbourn goes on to show how Nazi racial policies rested on German ideas of mastery of the natural world. Filled with striking reproductions of paintings, maps, and photographs, this grand work of modern history links culture, politics, and the environment in an exploration of the perils faced by nations that attempt to conquer nature.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393329995
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
08/13/2007
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
798,937
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 10.88(h) x 1.22(d)

Table of Contents


List of Maps     ix
Preface     xi
Introduction: Nature and Landscape in German History     3
Conquests from Barbarism: Prussia in the Eighteenth Century     21
A Wilderness of Water and Marsh     21
The Lords and Masters of Nature     41
Colonists     50
Fields of Joy and Abundance     62
Paradise Lost?     69
The Man Who Tamed the Wild Rhine: Remaking Germany's River in the Nineteenth Century     77
The Bells of Pfotz     77
Tulla's Plan     85
Remaking the Upper Rhine     93
Winners and Losers     101
Golden Age: From the 1848 Revolution to the 1870s     121
The Jade Bay     121
Colonizing the Moors     144
The Triumph of the Steamship     161
Further Victories over the Powers of Nature     173
Dam-Building and Modern Times: From the 1880s to World War Two     189
In the Wonderland of Technology     189
Otto Intze: "Grand Master" of German Dams     198
Flood Protection, Navigation, and "White Coal"     211
With Mastery of the Water Comes the Opportunity for Conflict     220
The Impact on Environment and Landscape     228
Drowned Villages, Broken Dams     236
Race and Reclamation: National Socialism in Germany and Europe     251
A Gray-Dark Wilderness     251
Race, Reclamation, and Genocide     261
Conservation and Conquest     278
The Mystique of the Frontier and the "Wild East"     293
Indian Wars     303
Landscape and Environment in the Postwar Germanys     311
The Garden of Our Hearts: The "Lost Lands" in the East     311
The "Economic Miracle" and the Rise of Ecology     322
Implementing the Transformation of Nature in Germany     335
Epilogue: Where It All Began     347
List of Abbreviations     365
Notes     367
Bibliography     435
Illustration Credits     451
Index     453

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