Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History [NOOK Book]

Overview

A tour de force of writing and analysis, Down to Earth offers a sweeping history of our nation, one that for the first time places the environment at the very center of our story.
Writing with marvelous clarity, historian Ted Steinberg sweeps across the centuries, re-envisioning the story of America as he recounts how the environment has played a key role in virtually every social, economic, and political development. Ranging from the colonists' attempts to impose order on the ...
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Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History

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Overview

A tour de force of writing and analysis, Down to Earth offers a sweeping history of our nation, one that for the first time places the environment at the very center of our story.
Writing with marvelous clarity, historian Ted Steinberg sweeps across the centuries, re-envisioning the story of America as he recounts how the environment has played a key role in virtually every social, economic, and political development. Ranging from the colonists' attempts to impose order on the land to the modern efforts to sell the wilderness as a consumer good, packaged in national parks and Alaskan cruises, Steinberg reminds readers that many critical episodes in our history were, in fact, environmental events: the California Gold Rush, for example, or the great migration of African Americans to the North in the early twentieth century (in part the consequence of an insect infestation). Equally important, Steinberg highlights the ways in which we have envisioned nature, attempting to reshape and control it--from Thomas Jefferson's surveying plan that divided the national landscape into a grid, to the transformation of animals, crops, and even water into commodities (New Englanders started trading water rights by the early nineteenth century). From the Pilgrims to Disney World, Steinberg's narrative abounds with fascinating details and often disturbing insights into our interaction with the natural world.
Few books truly change the way we see the past. Down to Earth is one of them: a vivid narrative that reveals the environment to be a powerful force in our history--a force that must be examined if we are truly to understand ourselves.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199315017
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/9/2002
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 389,068
  • File size: 11 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Ted Steinberg is Davee Professor of History and Law at Case Western Reserve University. He is author of American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn (2006), Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America (OUP, 2000), Slide Mountain, or the Folly of Owning Nature (1996), and Nature Incorporated (1994).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments to the Third Edition
Acknowledgments to the Second Edition
Acknowledgments

Prologue: Rocks and History

Part One: Chaos to Simplicity
1. Wilderness under Fire
2. A Truly New World
3. Reflections from a Woodlot

Part Two: Rationalization and Its Discontents
4. A World of Commodities
5. King Climate in Dixie
6. The Great Food Fight
7. Extracting the New South
8. The Unforgiving West
9. Conservation Reconsidered
10. Death of the Organic City

Part Three: Consuming Nature
11. Moveable Feast
12. The Secret History of Meat
13. America in Black and Green
14. Throwaway Society
15. Shade of Green
16. In Corporations We Trust

Notes
Bibliography
Index

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