Environmental History and the American South: A Reader

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Paul Sutter, Christopher J. Manganiello
University of Georgia Press, 2009 - History - 488 pages
This reader gathers fifteen of the most important essays written in the field of southern environmental history over the past decade. Ideal for course use, the volume provides a convenient entrée into the recent literature on the region as it indicates the variety of directions in which the field is growing. As coeditor Paul S. Sutter writes in his introduction, “recent trends in environmental historiography--a renewed emphasis on agricultural landscapes and their hybridity, attention to the social and racial histories of environmental thought and practice, and connections between health and the environment among them--have made the South newly attractive terrain. This volume suggests, then, that southern environmental history has not only arrived but also that it may prove an important space for the growth of the larger environmental history enterprise.”

The writings, which range in setting from the Texas plains to the Carolina Lowcountry, address a multiplicity of topics, such as husbandry practices in the Chesapeake colonies and the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The contributors’ varied disciplinary perspectives--including agricultural history, geography, the history of science, the history of technology, military history, colonial American history, urban and regional planning history, and ethnohistory--also point to the field’s vitality. Conveying the breadth, diversity, and liveliness of this maturing area of study, Environmental History and the American South affirms the critical importance of human-environmental interactions to the history and culture of the region.


  • Virginia DeJohn Anderson
  • William Boyd
  • Lisa Brady
  • Joshua Blu Buhs
  • Judith Carney
  • James Taylor Carson
  • Craig E. Colten
  • S. Max Edelson
  • Jack Temple Kirby
  • Ralph H. Lutts
  • Eileen Maura McGurty
  • Ted Steinberg
  • Mart Stewart
  • Claire Strom
  • Paul Sutter
  • Harry Watson
  • Albert G. Way

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A fabulous collection of instructive and sometimes provocative essays!!
Dan Richter, Duke University


No More the Backward Region Southern Environmental History Comes of Age
The Development of Livestock Husbandry in the SeventeenthCentury Chesapeake
Horses and the Economy and Culture of the Choctaw Indians 16901840
Rice Cultivation and African Continuities
Trees and the Making of a Plantation Landscape in the Colonial South Carolina Lowcountry
Subsistence Shad and Commerce in the Early Republican South
Nature and Strategy in the American Civil War
American Environmental History West and South
Herbert Stoddard and the Roots of Ecological Conservation in the Southern Longleaf Pine Forest
Science Technology and American Poultry Production
Nature and Science in the Pesticide Controversies of the Late Twentieth Century
The Origins of the Environmental Justice Movement
The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in South Florida
Wetlands in New Orleans
Nature Suburbanized and Other Southern Spaces

Texas Fever and the Dispossession of the Southern Yeoman Farmer
The American Chestnut Trade in Southwestern Virginia

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About the author (2009)

Paul S. Sutter is an associate professor of history at the University of Colorado and editor of the series Environmental History and the American South. He is author of Driven Wild: How the Fight against Automobiles Launched the Modern Wilderness Movement. Christopher J. Manganiello is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Georgia.

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