The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State

The Nature of New York: An Environmental History of the Empire State

by David Stradling
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801445108

ISBN-13: 9780801445101

Pub. Date: 09/16/2010

Publisher: Cornell University Press

From the arrival of Henry Hudson's Half Moon in the estuarial waters of what would come to be called New York Harbor to the 2006 agreement that laid out plans for General Electric to clean up the PCBs it pumped into the river named after Hudson, this work offers a sweeping environmental history of New York State. David Stradling shows how New York's varied

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Overview

From the arrival of Henry Hudson's Half Moon in the estuarial waters of what would come to be called New York Harbor to the 2006 agreement that laid out plans for General Electric to clean up the PCBs it pumped into the river named after Hudson, this work offers a sweeping environmental history of New York State. David Stradling shows how New York's varied landscape and abundant natural resources have played a fundamental role in shaping the state's culture and economy. Simultaneously, he underscores the extent to which New Yorkers have, through such projects as the excavation of the Erie Canal and the construction of highways and reservoir systems, changed the landscape of their state.

Surveying all of New York State since first contact between Europeans and the region's indigenous inhabitants, Stradling finds within its borders an amazing array of environmental features, such as Niagara Falls; human intervention through agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization; and symbols, such as Storm King Mountain, that effectively define the New York identity.

Stradling demonstrates that the history of the state can be charted by means of epochs that represent stages in the development and redefinition of our relationship to our natural surroundings and the built environment; New York State has gone through cycles of deforestation and reforestation, habitat destruction and restoration that track shifts in population distribution, public policy, and the economy. Understanding these patterns, their history, and their future prospects is essential to comprehending the Empire State in all its complexity.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801445101
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
09/16/2010
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction: Nature Is on the Side of New York 1

1 This Comes of Settling a Country: European Colonization and the Market's Arrival 14

2 This Wilderness Becomes a Fertile Plain: Engineering the Empire State 46

3 We Are Still in Eden: Romanticism, Tourism, and the Power of Culture 76

4 Tainted and Unwholesome Atmospheres: Urban Environments, Government, and Reform 106

5 A Sound Conservation Program: Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Power of Individuals 138

6 Tracing Man's Progress in Making the Planet Uninhabitable: Environmental Interest Groups and Postwar Threats 173

7 We Live in This Filth: The Urban Crisis, Environmental Justice, and Threats from Beyond 205

Epilogue: Finding Places in History 235

Notes 243

Bibliographical Essay 251

Index 271

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