First Along the River provides students with a balanced, historical perspective on the history of the environmental movement in relation to major social and political events in U.S. history, from the pre-colonial era to the present. The book highlights important people and events, places critical concepts in context, and shows the impact of government, industry, and population on the American landscape. Comprehensive yet brief, First Along the River discusses the religious and philosophical beliefs that shaped Americans' relationship to the environment, traces the origins and development of government regulations that impact Americans' use of natural resources, and shows why popular environmental groups were founded and how they changed over time. The fourth edition includes up-to-date coverage of the environmental movement and developments since 2000, including the second term of George W. Bush and the administration of Barack Obama.
I find this a very useful text for an introductory course that I teach called 'Environment and People.' It is clear and straightforward, and yet, it is not overly simplified. It traces how resources have been used and pollution created throughout the historical development of the U.S., while reviewing the individual, organized, and institutional responses to the environmental problems created. With the addition of a new chapter on the environmental policies of the George W. Bush administration, and the new international political context in which emerging global environmental problems must now be addressed, the book provides an excellent overview for introductory courses on environmental history, politics, and policy.
First Along the River provides a concise, updated introduction to U.S environmental history. An excellent supplement for any student of the subject.
A truly unique work, accessible to all, that demonstrates the common property nature of our global environment and its unwitting exploitation in the not so common interest. A good U.S. environmental history supplement for any environmentally oriented course.
Torben C. Rick
An extraordinary book that should be required reading for anyone interested in environmentalism and the future of our planet. From colonialism to the post-9/11 world, Kline provides a comprehensive, current, and approachable synthesis for anyone interested in environmentalism.
Benjamin Kline's work is remarkable because of its depth and breadth in covering the topics, but also because of its brevity and accessibility to students. His descriptions of how U.S. environmental policies have emerged and evolved within social, economic and political contexts are insightful and provide the background needed to enhance our understanding of current environmental policy debates. In this way the book is a valuable addition to classes on environmental policy, as it enables students to ground ongoing efforts to grapple with difficult environmental problems within longer term economic and social trends.
Chapter 1: Philosophical Foundations
Chapter 2: The 1400s through the 1700s: Inhabiting a New Land
Chapter 3: The Early 1800s: Destroying the Frontier
Chapter 4: The Late 1880s: Building an Industrial Nation
Chapter 5: The 1900s through the 1930s: Beginnings of the Conservation Movement
Chapter 6: The 1940s through the 1960s: Prelude to the Green Decade
Chapter 7: The 1970s: The Conservation Movement Matures
Chapter 8: The 1980s: A Conservative Backlash
Chapter 9: The Early 1990s: Government Retrenchment and Public Apathy
Chapter 10: The Late 1990s: The Institutionalization of the Environmental Movement
Chapter 11: The Environmental Movement in the Post 9/11 World, 2000–2010