Consuming Nature: Environmentalism in the Fox River Valley, 1850-1950

Hardcover (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$17.62
(Save 41%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $14.23
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 52%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (3) from $14.23   
  • New (1) from $14.23   
  • Used (2) from $14.98   

Overview

Environmental debates often pit the protection of nature against economic growth. But as Gregory Summers reveals, environmentalism has unsuspected roots in consumerism that extend deeper than our present-day dilemmas. In Consuming Nature, he tells of an early confrontation that set the stage for Silent Spring, pushing the dawn of environmental politics back several decades.

Summers takes readers to Wisconsin's Fox River Valley more than fifty years ago to recount how technological and economic progress contributed to residents' growing opposition to the industrial pollution of the river. On the one hand, there was the Wisconsin paper industry--long the largest employer in the area but also largely responsible for polluting the Fox River. On the other hand, there was the burgeoning demand for outdoor recreation among local residents, which put the river's recreational and aesthetic benefits on an equal footing with its industrial potential. As a result, many citizens felt that paper mills no longer deserved carte blanche to dump their waste.

This shift from an industrial to consumer society eventually showed up in a small Green Bay courthouse. There attorneys for the Izaak Walton League confronted Adolph Kanneberg, a long-time conservationist now defending the paper industry, with charges that the Fox River had been defiled. But Summers ranges well beyond this courtroom battle. Drawing on prominent national figures, from Frederick Jackson Turner and Theodore Roosevelt to Joseph R. McCarthy, he shows how this local drama was playing on a much larger stage. Wisconsin's showdown over water quality, in fact, was being repeated throughout the country in similar disputes involving urban sprawl and the destruction of wilderness, as Americans struggled to balance their use of nature against the need to protect the environment.

Summers tracks the widening separation between production and consumption over a hundred years, a transformation that helps to explain the polarized character of modern environmental politics. He reveals that the redefinition of nature upon which environmentalism relied was the product of the very forces it opposed, a dilemma whose origins lay in the unexpected connection between the efficient use of natural resources and the growing movement to value nature in its own right. In this way, Summers shows that modern environmentalism is among the most important legacies of a consumer society.

Ultimately, by framing the human relationship to nature in terms of production and consumption, Summers fosters a better understanding of the philosophy of the modern environmental movement.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700614868
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 9/28/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.16 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.96 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction : a river of paper? 1
1 The voice of industry 12
2 Working with nature 31
3 The renewal of progress 65
4 The consumer's metropolis 110
5 Enjoying the great outdoors 150
6 "Pollution concerns you!" 180
Conclusion : the meaning of nature 200
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)