What Is Environmental History? / Edition 1

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What is environmental history? It is a kind of history that seeks understanding of human beings as they have lived, worked and thought in relationship to the rest of nature through the changes brought by time. In this seminal student textbook, J. Donald Hughes provides a masterful overview of the thinkers, topics and perspectives that have come to constitute the exciting discipline that is environmental history. He does so on a global scale, drawing together disparate trends from a rich variety of countries into a unified whole, illuminating trends and key themes in the process. Those already familiar with the discipline will find themselves invited to think about the subject in a new way. Students and scholars new to environmental history will find the book both an indispensable guide and a rich source of inspiration for future work

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"An essential reference source."

—Philip Conford, Rural History

"Anyone seeking help in navigating the shoals of environmental history will give fulsome thanks to Don Hughes for this book. It is far and away the best guide yet to the issues and historiography of this emerging field, spanning the globe and delving into the deep as well as recent past."

—J. R. McNeill, Georgetown University

"What is Environmental History? is a masterfully condensed overview of one of the most urgent and rapidly developing fields of history. Written by a scholar of classical antiquity, it gracefully covers ancient, medieval, and modern periods – with a global vision. A state-of-the-art report for any scholar, and a perfect introduction for the student."

—Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745631899
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 12/1/2006
  • Series: What is History Series, #1
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 771,375
  • Product dimensions: 0.40 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

J D Hughes is John Evans Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Denver, Colorado.

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Table of Contents

1 Defining Environmental History 1

Introduction 1

The Themes of Environmental History 3

Among the Scholarly Disciplines 8

Environmental History and the Older History 15

2 Forerunners of Environmental History 18

Introduction 18

The Ancient World 18

Medieval and Early Modern Environmental Thought 26

The Early Twentieth Century 32

3 The Birth and Growth of Environmental History in the United States 36

Introduction 36

American History from Conservation to Environment 37

Strands of Environmental History in the United States 41

Collaborators with Environmental History 48

4 Local, Regional, and National Environmental Histories 53

Introduction 53

Canada 55

Europe 56

The Mediterranean 62

India, South and Southeast Asia 64

East Asia 66

Australia and the Pacific Islands 67

Africa 71

Latin America 72

The Ancient World and the Middle Ages 74

Conclusion 75

5 Global Environmental History 77

Introduction 77

Books on World Environmental History 78

Topics of Global Importance 86

Environment Movements 90

World History Texts 91

Conclusion 92

6 Issues and Directions in Environmental History 94

Introduction 94

Professionalism 94

Advocacy 95

Environmental Determination 97

Presentism 98

Declensionist Narratives 99

Political-Economic Theory 101

The Next Issues 102

Conclusion 113

7 Thoughts on Doing Environmental History 114

Introduction 114

Guidance in Methodology 114

The Search for Sources 118

Resources 121

Conclusion: The Future of Environmental History 124

Notes 127

Select Bibliography 160

Index 168

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