American Environmental History: An Introduction

American Environmental History: An Introduction

by Carolyn Merchant
ISBN-10:
0231140355
ISBN-13:
9780231140355
Pub. Date:
10/24/2007
Publisher:
Columbia University Press

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Overview

American Environmental History: An Introduction

By studying the many ways diverse peoples have changed, shaped, and conserved the natural world over time, environmental historians provide insight into humanity's unique relationship with nature and, more importantly, are better able to understand the origins of our current environmental crisis. Beginning with the precolonial land-use practice of Native Americans and concluding with our twenty-first century concerns over our global ecological crisis, American Environmental History addresses contentious issues such as the preservation of the wilderness, the expulsion of native peoples from national parks, and population growth, and considers the formative forces of gender, race, and class. Entries address a range of topics, from the impact of rice cultivation, slavery, and the growth of the automobile suburb to the effects of the Russian sea otter trade, Columbia River salmon fisheries, the environmental justice movement, and globalization. This illustrated reference is an essential companion for students interested in the ongoing transformation of the American landscape and the conflicts over its resources and conservation. It makes rich use of the tools and resources (climatic and geological data, court records, archaeological digs, and the writings of naturalists) that environmental historians rely on to conduct their research. The volume also includes a compendium of significant people, concepts, events, agencies, and legislation, and an extensive bibliography of critical films, books, and Web sites.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231140355
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 10/24/2007
Series: Columbia Guides to American History and Cultures Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 504
Sales rank: 469,473
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Carolyn Merchant is the Chancellor's Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of several books, including Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture and The Death of Nature, and is a past president of the American Society for Environmental History.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Introduction
Part I. Historical Overview-Topics and Themes
1. The American Environment and Native-European Encounters, 1000-1875
2. The New England Wilderness Transformed, 1600-1850
3. The Tobacco and Cotton South, 1600-1900
4. Nature and the Market Economy, 1750-1850
5. Western Frontiers: The Settlement of the Pacific Coast and the Great Plains, 1820-1930
6. Urban Environments, 1850-1960
7. Conservation and Preservation, 1785-1950
8. Indian Land Policy, 1800-1990
9. The Rise of Ecology, 1890-1990
10. Environmentalism and Globalization, 1960-2005
Part II. American Environmental History A to Z-Agencies, Concepts, Laws, and People
Part III. Chronology-An Environmental History Timeline
Part IV. Resource Guide
Visual Resources: Films and Videos
Electronic Resources
Bibliographical Essay
Bibliography
Index

What People are Saying About This

John H. Perkins

Merchant has been one of the most important scholars building the field of environmental history. Her excellent guide will be of use to new students in environmental history and to established scholars coming into the field from other areas.

— The Quarterly Review of Biology

The Quarterly Review of Biology - John H. Perkins

Merchant has been one of the most important scholars building the field of environmental history. Her excellent guide will be of use to new students in environmental history and to established scholars coming into the field from other areas.

John Opie

This guide fills an important niche in American environmental history for both the expert and the casual reader. There is no better person than Carolyn Merchant to do this job.

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