Nature and the Iron Curtain: Environmental Policy and Social Movements in Communist and Capitalist Countries, 1945-1990

Nature and the Iron Curtain: Environmental Policy and Social Movements in Communist and Capitalist Countries, 1945-1990

by Astrid Mignon Kirchhof, John R. McNeill


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


In Nature and the Iron Curtain, the authors contrast communist and capitalist countries with respect to their environmental politics in the context of the Cold War. Its chapters draw from archives across Europe and the U.S. to present new perspectives on the origins and evolution of modern environmentalism on both sides of the Iron Curtain.  The book explores similarities and differences among several nations with different economies and political systems, and highlights connections between environmental movements in Eastern and Western Europe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822945451
Publisher: University of Pittsburgh Press
Publication date: 05/28/2019
Edition description: 1
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Astrid Mignon Kirchhof is a research associate and lecturer at Humboldt University, Berlin and a scholar in residence at the Deutsches Museum, Munich.

J.R.McNeill is professor of history at Georgetown University and author of Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the 20th-century World.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction: Environmentalism, Environmental Policy, Capitalism, and Communism Astrid Mignon Kirchhof J. R. McNeill 3

Part I Communist and Capitalist Systems Revisited: A Comparison of Their Environmental Politics

1 Building a Soviet Eco-Power while Looking at the Capitalist World: The Rise of Technocratic Environmentalism in Russian Water Controversies, 1957-1989 Laurent Coumel 17

2 Water Pollution and Protection in the Lithuanian Soviet Republic Anolda Cetkauskaite and Simo Laakkonen 36

3 The Fallout of Chernobyl: The Emergence of an Environmental Movement in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic Tetiana Perga 55

4 Keeping the Air Clean?: Environmental Policy, Utility Companies, and Social Movements in West Germany since the 1970s Hendrik Ehrhardt 73

5 From Anti-Nuke to Ökopax: 1970s Anti-Reactor Activism and the Emergence of West Germany's Mass Movement for Peace Stephen Milder 87

6 An Unguided Boom: Environmental Policies of Cold War Italy Wilko Graf von Hardenberg 102

7 Nuclear-Free Montana: Grassroots Environmentalism and Montana's Antinuclear Initiatives Brian James Leech 116

Part II The Porous Iron Curtain

8 Building a Socialist Environment: Czechoslovak Environmental Policy from the 1960s to the 1980s Eagle Glassheim 137

9 Protesting Pollution: Environmental Activism in East Germany and Poland, 1980-1990 Julia E. Ault 151

10 About Environmental Policy in Socialist Yugoslavia Hrvoje Petric 169

11 "It Makes No Sense to Work against Nature": Cold War Modernization in West German Agriculture Scott Moranda 183

Part III Environmentalism and Détente?

12 An American Miracle in the Desert: Environmental Crisis and Nuclear-Powered Desalination in the Middle East Jacob Darwin Hamblin 205

13 East Germany's Fight for Recognition as a Sovereign State: Environmental Diplomacy as Strategy in Cold War Politics Astrid Mignon Kirchhof 219

Notes 233

Contributors 299

Index 303

Customer Reviews