Inventing Global Ecology: Tracking the Biodiversity Ideal in India, 1947-1997

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"Inventing Global Ecology: Tracking the Biodiversity Ideal in India, 1947-1997 grapples with how we should understand the development of global ecology, the science that is held responsible for - literally -saving the world. Is the spread of conservation ecology around the globe a subtle form of cultural imperialism, as some claim?" "Using India as a case study, Michael Lewis considers the development of conservation policies and ecological science since the end of World War II and the roles of U.S. scientists, ideas, and institutions in this process. Was India subject to a form of Americanization? Did Indian ecologists develop their own agenda, their own science, and their own way of understanding (and saving) the natural world? Does nationality matter in the ecological sciences?" This story will carry you through the first fifty years of independent India, from the meadows of the Himalayan Mountains to the rain forests of southern India, from Gandhi and Nehru to Project Tiger, Of interest to the general reader, to scientists, and to scholars of history and globalization, Inventing Global Ecology combines fieldwork, travel, and interviews with traditional archival research.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“It is people such as Lewis, and the debate that books like this can initiate, that have the potential to make a real difference to difficult and chronic global problems....this book is user-friendly for lay-readers, thanks in no small measure to the author’s superb story-telling ability.”


“Michael Lewis’s book addresses an important area of interest in Indian ecology—how institutions and personalities—both domestic and international—have shaped the conservation ethic in India from Independence to the current era of U.S.-dominated wildlife ecology.”

Landscape Ecology

“This extremely well-written book is engaging, creatively researched, and a welcome contribution to the twentieth-century history of both Indian wildlife conservation and the rise of biodiversity conservation ideas globally.”

American Historical Review

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Product Details

Meet the Author

An assistant professor of history at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, Michael Lewis trained first as a biologist and later in American studies. Inventing Global Ecology comes out of research conducted in India.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : tracking elephants 1
Ch. 1 Tracking ideas : transnational science 13
Ch. 2 The Gateway to India : Salim Ali, S. Dillon Ripley, and the introduction of the new ecology to India 25
Ch. 3 Looking for the jungle : U.S. ecologists in India 54
Ch. 4 Scientists or spies? : ecology and Cold War suspicion 81
Ch. 5 "Modern" ecology comes to India : Madhav Gadgil and the CES 109
Ch. 6 Science to save the natural world : the ecology of conservation 138
Ch. 7 Indian science for Indian conservation : nationalism and wildlife biology 159
Ch. 8 All nature great and small : designing Indian nature preserves 199
Epilogue : conservation ecology crossing borders 233
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003

    Great Teacher

    I haven't read this book, yet. But I had Dr. Lewis as a professor and he was one of the best teachers I've ever had. I can't wait to read this book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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