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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

Lin Enger: IMG Knowing vs. Knowing



On a hot July evening years ago, my Toyota Tercel overheated on a flat stretch of highway north of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A steam geyser shot up from... Continue »
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This title in other editions

The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China

by

The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there are written records. It is also a treasure trove of literary, political, aesthetic, scientific, and religious sources, which allow the reader direct access to the views and feelings of the Chinese people toward their environment and their landscape.

Elvin chronicles the spread of the Chinese style of farming that eliminated the habitat of the elephants that populated the country alongside much of its original wildlife; the destruction of most of the forests; the impact of war on the environmental transformation of the landscape; and the re-engineering of the countryside through water-control systems, some of gigantic size. He documents the histories of three contrasting localities within China to show how ecological dynamics defined the lives of the inhabitants. And he shows that China in the eighteenth century, on the eve of the modern era, was probably more environmentally degraded than northwestern Europe around this time.

Indispensable for its new perspective on long-term Chinese history and its explanation of the roots of Chinas present-day environmental crisis, this book opens a door into the Chinese past.

Synopsis:

Indispensable for its new perspective on long-term Chinese history and its explanation of the roots of China's present-day environmental crisis, this landmark book opens a door into the Chinese past.

Synopsis:

This landmark book—the first environmental history of China—is based on a wealth of literary, political aesthetic, scientific, and religious sources that reveal the views of the Chinese people toward their environment and landscape.

"Masterly and engaging. . . . Essential for those who want to understand the long sweep of Chinese history, and it will enhance the perspective of those who think they already understand it. A scholarly tour de force."—J. R. McNeill, Wilson Quarterly (Note to DMB: check print review—also in Science?)

"Elvin combines an illuminating account of the 4,000 year-long collision of humans and nature with delightful tidbits about everything under the Chinese sun. . . . A magisterial work."—Nicholas D. Kristof, Scientific American

About the Author

MARK ELVIN is professor of Chinese history at the Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University, Canberra. 

 

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300119930
Author:
Elvin, Mark
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Subject:
China
Subject:
Asia - China
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Environmental Conservation & Protection - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
Human ecology
Subject:
China Environmental conditions.
Subject:
Human ecology - China - History
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20060931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1.9 lb

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » China » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
History and Social Science » World History » China
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

The Retreat of the Elephants: An Environmental History of China New Trade Paper
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Product details 592 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300119930 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Indispensable for its new perspective on long-term Chinese history and its explanation of the roots of China's present-day environmental crisis, this landmark book opens a door into the Chinese past.
"Synopsis" by ,
This landmark book—the first environmental history of China—is based on a wealth of literary, political aesthetic, scientific, and religious sources that reveal the views of the Chinese people toward their environment and landscape.

"Masterly and engaging. . . . Essential for those who want to understand the long sweep of Chinese history, and it will enhance the perspective of those who think they already understand it. A scholarly tour de force."—J. R. McNeill, Wilson Quarterly (Note to DMB: check print review—also in Science?)

"Elvin combines an illuminating account of the 4,000 year-long collision of humans and nature with delightful tidbits about everything under the Chinese sun. . . . A magisterial work."—Nicholas D. Kristof, Scientific American

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