An Environmental History of the World: Humankind's Changing Role in the Community of Life

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Psychology Press, 2002 - History - 264 pages
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The Environmental History of the World is a concise history, from Ancient to Modern times, of the interaction between human societies and the other forms of life that inhabit our planet. Throughout their evolutionary history humans have affected the natural environment, sometimes with a promise of sustainable balance, but also in a destructive manner. This book investigates the ways in which environmental changes, often the result of human actions, have caused historical tends in human societies. This process has happened in every historical period and in every part of the inhabited earth. The eight main chapters follow a chronological path through the history of mankind, in relationship to ecosystems around the world. Each chapter concentrates on a general period in human history which has been characterized by large scale changes in the relationship of human societies to the biosphere and gives three case studies that illustrate the significant patterns occurring at that time. The chapters covering the 20th century discuss the physical impact of the huge growth in population and technology, and the human responses to these problems.

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User Review  - WildcatJF - LibraryThing

Hughes does a solid job of compressing the long environmental history down into a readable format that lacks ethnocentrism and presents its points clearly. Probably the best overall book I read for my environmental history class. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

J. Donald Hughes is John Evans Professor in the Department of History at the University of Denver, USA

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