Global Environmental History
An Introductory Reader
Edited by John R. McNeill, Alan Roe
Routledge – 2012 – 454 pages
Series: Rewriting Histories
Global Environmental History introduces this rapidly developing field through a broad and thought-provoking range of expert contributions.
Environmental history is a subject especially suited to global and transnational approaches and, over the course of the present generation, an increasing number of scholars have taken up the challenge that it presents. The collection begins with a series of chapters offering truly global visions; they range from reflections on the role of animals in environmental history to an overview of environmental change over the past ten millennia.
Part Two switches to a sharper focus, featuring essays that characterize the distinctiveness of certain key regions such as China, Russia, West Africa, South Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The final part of the book examines different forms of modern environmentalism, ranging from the U.S. and its fascination with wilderness, to Japanese concern with human health, and on to Peru and India, where the environmental debate centres on access to resources.
Global Environmental History will be an essential resource for students of Environmental History and Global History.
"Environmental history offers a provocative new paradigm and perspective on the human past. This collection of essays, selected from the major journals in the field, demonstrate the intellectual vigor and geographical scope of that new approach. Read them, and your understanding of history will change dramatically." - Donald Worster, University of Kansas, USA
"In Global Environmental History, John McNeill and Alan Roe have put together a stimulating ‘canon’ of great readings. Together they explore many of the key themes in the emerging interdisciplinary field of environmental history, which explores past relations between people and environments historically, geographically, ecologically and through following many other disciplinary paths as well. The ‘global synthesis’ will ultimately need the understandings of many scales – global, regional and local – and the readings are organised in a way that considers the insights from each. There will, we hope be more such anthologies to follow. This one is a pioneering collection for an exciting intellectual endeavour." - Libby Robin, Australian National University, Australia
Part 1: Global Perspectives 1. Changing Times: The Holocene Legacy William Dickinson 2. Dark is the World to Thee: A Historical Perspective on Environmental Forewarnings Teresa Kwiatowska and Alan Holland 3. Opportunities in Marine Environmental History W. Jeffrey Bolster 4. Gender and Environmental History Carolyn Merchant 5. Forged in Fire: History, Land, and Anthropogenic Fire Stephen Pyne 6. Rubber, Blight, and Mosquitoes: Biogeography Meets the Global Economy Donald Kennedy and Marjorie Lucks 7. Animal Planet Harriet Ritvo 8. Evolutionary History: Prospectus for a New Field Edmund Russell 9. Ecological Imperialism: The Overseas Migration of Western Europeans as a Biological Phenomenon Alfred Crosby Part 2: Regional Perspectives 10. Environment and Society: Long-Term Trends in Latin American Mining Elizabeth Dore 11. Exceptionalism in European Environmental History Joachim Radkau 12. Three Thousand Years of Unsustainable Growth: China’s Environment from Archaic Times to the Present Mark Elvin 13. The Predatory Tribute-Taking State: A Framework for Understanding Russian Environmental History Douglas Wiener 14. Ecology and Culture in West Africa James L. Webb Part 3: Environmentalisms 15. The Trouble with Wilderness: Or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature William Cronon 16. Ecology and the Poor: A Neglected Dimension of Latin American History Joan Martinez-Alier 17. Conservation Movement in Post-War Japan Catherine Knight
John R. McNeill is University Professor in the Department of History and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. His previous works include Mosquito Empires:Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, winner of the Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association,and Something New Under The Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-century World, winner of the World History Association Book Prize.
Alan Roe is a Ph.D. student in Russian environmental history at the Department of History, Georgetown University.