Echoes From The Poisoned Well

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This book is a historical examination of environmental justice struggles across the globe from the perspective of environmentally marginalized communities. It is unique in environmental justice historiography because it recounts these struggles by integrating the actual voices and memories of communities that have grappled with environmental inequalities.
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Editorial Reviews

Professor Jane Carruthers
This bold and broad-ranging book presents the pan-global phenomenon of environmental injustice from an historical perspective for the first time. In a volume of well-written and sophisticated analyses, expert authors explore the roots and effects of environmental inequity in societies as different as Finland, Zimbabwe, Australia, Martinique, Taiwan, and the United States. Covering a diversity of urban and rural communities in the developing and developed world, periphery and metropole, indigenous and academic voices are finely balanced. This ambitious collection is innovative in including wide variety and different scales of environmental impacts, including forestry, mining, housing and industrial development, water supply, the effects of pollution and much else. This thought-provoking and instructive book with its interesting mix of perspectives will have wide appeal.
Linda Nash
For scholars and activists alike, there is no more important task than to connect issues of environmental quality and degradation with the history of power and injustice. By inviting us to connect theory with practice, memory with history, and the local with the global, this volume illuminates the depth, complexity, and urgency of contemporary struggles for environmental justice. These essays help us think our way toward a better understanding of the past, while guiding us toward a more hopeful future.
Ian Tyrrell
Work on environmental justice is a cutting edge area of scholarship in environmental studies. This edited book contributes to the new genre with its own distinctive take. It combines studies of the African-American environmental justice tradition — the best-known type — with consideration of class and gender issues and highlights research on indigenous peoples. It defines environmental justice broadly to include its basis in dispossession of land. Through a comparative dimension and inclusion of a wide range of essays, the book allows us to move beyond a North American focus to a variety of colonial environments in which indigenous issues can be explored. A timely and thought-provoking collection.
Douglas R. Weiner
These moving stories compel us to think about two interrelated questions: Why do societies seem perenially to require necessary victims? And, why have we proven unable to rein in our limitless, even mindless, lust for growth and gain, especially in light of the human costs? Either we heed the Echoes from the Poisoned Well or we will all soon drink its deadly draught.
Dr. Steve Dovers
This immensely valuable and unprecedented collection demonstrates clearly that decisions to use the environment, and actions that abuse the environment, are too often decisions and actions that use and abuse people. The book ranges energetically across place and time to expose and explore that deeply human side of environmental issues, blending historical perspective with international relevance and sharp local topicality. And it points to the sorts of intellectual and practical capacities needed to deal with environmental injustice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739114322
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 1/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 458
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Hood Washington teaches environmental ethics and environmental justice at Depaul University and African American history at the University of Maryland, University College. She sits on the University of Illinois-Chicago's Environmental Justice board and directs the national project on Environmental Justice and Environmental Health co-sponsored by the Knights of Peter Claver, Inc. and the USCCB's Catholic Coalition for Children and a Safe Environment (CASE). Heather Goodall is associate professor in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science at the University of Technology Sydney. Paul C. Rosier is assistant professor of history at Villanova University.

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Table of Contents

Foreword xi
Introduction xiii
Part 1 Foundations and Origins of Environmental Injustice
1 Citizen Activism for Environmental Health: The Growth of a Powerful New Grassroots Health Movement 3
2 Gendered Approaches to Environmental Justice: An Historical Sampling 17
3 Fond Memories and Bitter Struggles: Concerted Resistance to Environmental Injustices in Postwar Native America 35
4 "My Soul Looked Back": Environmental Memories of the African in America, 1600-2000 55
5 Indigenous Peoples, Colonialism, and Memories of Environmental Injustice 73
6 Racist Property Holdings and Environmental Coalitions: Addressing Memories of Environmental Injustice 97
7 Racialized Spaces and the Emergence of Environmental Injustice 109
Part 2 North American Memories of Environmental Injustice
8 Wadin' in the Water: African American Migrant Struggles for Environmental Equality in Cleveland, Ohio, 1928-1970 127
9 Memories of (No)Place: Homelessness and Environmental Justice 143
10 Citizens against Wilderness: Environmentalism and the Politics of Marginalization in the Great Smoky Mountains 157
11 Environmental Justice, Urban Planning, and Community Memory in New York City 171
12 Ferrell Parkway: Conflicting Views of Nature in a Mixed Use Community 183
13 "We Come This Far by Faith": Memories of Race, Religion, and Environmental Disparity 195
Part 3 Indigenous Memories of Environmental Injustice
14 Suttesaja: From a Sacred Sami Site and Natural Spring to a Water Bottling Plant? The Effects of Colonization in Northern Europe 209
15 What Lies Beneath? Cultural Excavation in Neocolonial Martinique 225
16 Plight of the Rara' muri: Crises in Our Backyard 245
17 Main Streets and Riverbanks: The Politics of Place in an Australian River Town 255
18 "Taking Us for Village Idiots": Two Stories of Ethnicity, Class, and Toxic Waste from Sydney, Australia 271
19 The Mirrar Fight for Jabiluka: Uranium Mining and Indigenous Australians to 2004 285
20 Guardians of the Land: A Maori Community's Environmental Battles 299
21 Parameters of Legitimation and the Environmental Future of a Taipei Neighborhood 311
22 Remembering the Mother River: The Impact of Environmental Injustice on National Identity in Contemporary China 331
23 Environmental Justice and Popular Protest in Thailand 345
24 "Aiee, Our Fields Will Be Destroyed": Dubious Science and Peasant Environmental Practices in Madziwa, Zimbabwe 355
25 Shell International, the Ogoni People, and Environmental Injustice in the Niger Delta, Nigeria: The Challenge of Securing Environmental Justice in an Oil-based Economy 371
26 The Community, Industry, and the Quest for a Clean Vaal River 1997-2004 389
Epilogue 409
Maps 411
Index 415
About the Contributors 425
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