Germany's Nature: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental History

Germany's Nature: Cultural Landscapes and Environmental History

by Thomas Lekan, Thomas Zeller

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Germany boasts one of the strongest environmental records in the world. The Rhine River is cleaner than it has been in decades, recycling is considered a civic duty, and German manufacturers of pollution-control technology export their products around the globe. Yet, little has been written about the country's remarkable environmental history, and even less of that research is available in English.

Now for the first time, a survey of the country's natural and cultural landscapes is available in one volume. Essays by leading scholars of history, geography, and the social sciences move beyond the Green movement to uncover the enduring yet ever-changing cultural patterns, social institutions, and geographic factors that have sustained Germany's relationship to its land.

Unlike the American environmental movement, which is still dominated by debates about wilderness conservation and the retention of untouched spaces, discussions of the German landscape have long recognized human impact as part of the "natural order." Drawing on a variety of sites as examples, including forests, waterways, the Autobahn, and natural history museums, the essays demonstrate how environmental debates in Germany have generally centered on the best ways to harmonize human priorities and organic order, rather than on attempts to reify wilderness as a place to escape from industrial society.

Germany's Nature is essential reading for students and professionals working in the fields of environmental studies, European history, and the history of science and technology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813537702
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 08/23/2005
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 276
File size: 499 KB

About the Author

Thomas Lekan is an assistant professor of history at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.

Thomas Zeller is an assistant professor in the department of history at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Table of Contents

Contents Acknowledgments vii Introduction "The Landscape of German Environmental History" 1 Thomas Lekan and Thomas Zeller Part I: Seeing Like a State: Water, Forests, and Power 1. "Germany as a Focus of European 'Peculiarities' in Environmental History" 24 Joachim Radkau 2. "Conviction and Constraint: Hydraulic Engineers and Amelioration Projects 50 in Nineteenth-Century Prussia" Rita Gudermann 3. "A Sylvan People: Wilhelmine Forestry and the Forest as a Symbol 87 of Germandom" Michael Imort 4. "Forestry and the German Imperial Imagination: Conflicts over 129 Forest Use in German East Africa" Thaddeus Sunseri Part II: The Cultural Landscapes of Home 5. "Organic Machines: Cars, Drivers, and Nature from Imperial to Nazi Germany" 170 Rudy Koshar 6. "Biology - Heimat - Family: Nature and Gender in German Natural History 221 Museums around 1900" Susanne K"stering Part III: The Politics of Conservation 7. "Indication and Identification: On the History of Bird Protection" 250 Friedemann Schmoll 8. "Protecting Nature Between Democracy and Dictatorship: 283 The Changing Ideology of the Bourgeois Conservationist Movement, 1925-1935" John Alexander Williams 9. "Protecting Nature in a Divided Nation: Conservation in the 323 Two Germanys, 1945-1972" Sandra Chaney Index

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