Forcing the Spring: The Transformation of the American Environmental Movement / Edition 2

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<p>Forcing the Spring challenges standard histories of the environmental movement by offering a broad and inclusive interpretation of past environmentalist thought and a sweeping redefinition of the nature of the contemporary environmental movement. Robert Gottlieb demonstrates the centrality of environmental concerns to a wide range of social movements of the past century as he explores the connections between pressures on human and natural environments and the role of these pressures in shaping society. His analysis provides fundamental new insights into the past and future of the American environmental movement by placing it within the larger context of American social history.<p>After considering the historical roots of environmentalism from the 1890s through the 1960s, Gottlieb discusses the rise and consolidation of environmental groups in the years between Earth Day 1970 and Earth Day 1990. He examines the increasing professionalization of the major environmental organizations and the parallel rise of community-based groups over the past decade, and ends with an in-depth consideration of the role of ethnicity, gender, and class in the formation and definition of movements.
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Editorial Reviews

Christian Science Monitor

"Forcing the Spring … is an important work, providing for general readers as well as specialists the background to an emergent way of thinking that goes beyond activism to define values that have quietly begun to affect politics and society at all levels."
The New York Review of Books

"Gottlieb's provocative and original account revises the conventional story of environmentalists trying to preserve the land."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Recently, the environmental movement has been seen as elitist--traditionally dominated by white males with its primary goal being the preservation of wilderness rather than the promoting of responsible stewardship of the planet and its resources. Gottlieb ( Empires in the Sun ) expands the definition of environmentalism to include more sociological issues that affect daily life in the community and the workplace. He discusses gender, ethnicity and class as factors in environmental problems, examines alternative movements and grassroots action, such as the protests about Love Canal. Gottlieb introduces Alice Hamilton, pioneer in occupational and community health, as an equal of John Muir. Moving from arguments about protecting the natural environment to a discussion of social justice, he notes that many diverse groups share a common goal in their search for a response to the dominant urban and industrial order. A timely and provocative study. (Oct.)
Library Journal
This book will considerably expand most readers' knowledge of environmentalism as experienced in the past and present in the United States. Gottlieb, a teacher in UCLA's Urban Planning Program and author of several other books on the environment, offers a broad interpretation, beginning with a history of the environmental movement in this country from the 1890s forward, then examining contemporary environmental groups of the past 20 years. Mainstream groups such as the National Wildlife Federation, National Audubon Society, and Sierra Club are discussed, as are Greenpeace and various grass-roots organizations that are often considered alternative movements. Finally, individual chapters are devoted to gender, ethnicity, and class as they relate to environmentalism. This heavily documented but quite readable work is a good choice for academic libraries and for public libraries with collections on the environment.-- William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Libs., Ames
Placing the American environmental movement within the larger context of American social history, Gottlieb challenges the conventional focus on the conservation organizations that grew out of Gifford Pinchot's and John Muir's activities, to offer a broader interpretation that takes into account the wide range of 20th-century social movements that developed in response to the urban and industrial forces of the past hundred years. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559638050
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Gottlieb is the Henry R. Luce Professor of Urban Environmental Studies and director of the Urban and Environmental Policy Institute at Occidental College. He is author or co-author of ten books including Environmentalism Unbound (MIT Press, 2001).

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Revised Edition
Introduction to the Revised Edition: The Next Environmentalism
Introduction: Where We Live, Work, and Play
PART I. Complex Movements, Diverse Roots: Revisionist Histories, Revised Edition
Chapter 1. Resources and Recreation: The Limits of the Traditional Debate
Chapter 2. Urban and Industrial Roots: Seeking to Reform the System
Chapter 3. The Sixties Rebellion:" The Search for a New Politics 121
PART II. The Contemporary Movements: Have the Movements Changed? Revised Edition
Chapter 4. Professionalization and Institutionalization: The Mainstream Groups
Chapter 5. Grassroots and Direct Action: Alternative Movements
PART III. Issues of Gender, Ethnicity, and Class: A White Male Upper-Class Movement? Revised Edition
Chapter 6. Gender and Place: Women and Environmentalism
Chapter 7. Ethnicity as a Factor: The Quest for Environmental Justice
Chapter 8. A Question of Class: The Workplace Experience
Conclusion: Environmentalism Redefined
Epilogue: From the Ground Up: Environmentalism in the George W. Bush Era—A Postscript
Afterword: A Note on Method
About the Author
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