The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History

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Columbia University Press, Jul 24, 2012 - Philosophy - 400 pages
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How and why have Americans living at particular times and places used and transformed their environment? How have political systems dealt with conflicts over resources and conservation? This is the only major reference work to explore all the major themes and debates of the burgeoning field of environmental history. Humanity´s relationship with the natural world is one of the oldest and newest topics in human history. The issue emerged as a distinct field of scholarship in the early 1970s and has been growing steadily ever since. The discipline´s territory and sources are rich and varied and include climactic and geological data, court records, archaeological digs, and the writings of naturalists, as well as federal and state economic and resource development and conservation policy. Environmental historians investigate how and why natural and human-created surroundings affect a society´s development. Merchant provides a context-setting overview of American environmental history from the beginning of the millennium; an encyclopedia of important concepts, people, agencies, and laws; a chronology of major events; and an extensive bibliography including films, videos, CD-Roms, and websites. This concise "first stop" reference for students and general readers contains an accessible overview of environmental history; a mini-encyclopedia of ideas, people, legislation, and agencies; a chronology of events and their significance; and a bibliography of books, magazines, and journals as well as films, videos, CD-ROMs, and online resources. In addition to providing a wealth of factual information, The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History explores contentious issues in this much-debated field, from the idea of wilderness to global warming.

 

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Contents

1 The American Environment and NativeEuropean Encounters 10001875
3
2 The New England Wilderness Transformed 16001850
24
3 The Tobacco and Cotton South 16001900
39
4 Nature and the Market Economy 17501850
59
The Settlement of California and the Great Plaines 18201930
80
6 Urban Environments 18501960
100
7 Conservation and Preservation 17851950
120
8 Indian Land Policy 18001990
140
AGENCIES CONCEPTS LAWS AND PEOPLE
191
AN ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY TIMELINE
249
Part IV RESOURCE GUIDE
269
Films and Videos
271
Electronic Resources
291
Bibliographical Essay
311
Bibliography
323
Index
423

9 The Rise of Ecology 18901990
159
10 The Era of Environmentalism 19402000
174

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About the author (2012)

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 The Death of Nature, Ecological Revolutions, and Earthcare, and is a past-president of the American Society for Environmental History.


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