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Other titles in the Studies in Environment and History series:

Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Studies in Environment and History)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

People of European descent form the bulk of the population in most of the temperate zones of the world--North America, Australia and New Zealand. The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain because in many cases they were achieved by using firearms against spears. Alfred Crosby, however, explains that the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest. Now in a new edition with a new preface, Crosby revisits his classic work and again evaluates the ecological reasons for European expansion. Alfred W. Crosby is the author of the widely popular and ground-breaking books, The Measure of Reality (Cambridge, 1996), and America's Forgotten Pandemic (Cambridge, 1990). His books have received the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Medical Writers Association Prize and been named by the Los Angeles Times as among the best books of the year. He taught at the University of Texas, Austin for over 20 years. First Edition Hb (1986): 0-521-32009-7 First Edition Pb (1987): 0-521-33613-9

Synopsis:

The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain; in many cases they were a matter of firearms against spear. But as Alfred Crosby explains in his highly original and fascinating book, the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest.

Synopsis:

New edition of this classic work that evaluates the ecological reasons for European expansion.

Table of Contents

1. Prologue; 2. Pangaea revisited, the Neolithic reconsidered; 3. The Norse and the Crusaders; 4. The Fortunate Isles; 5. Winds; 6. Within reach, beyond grasp; 7. Weeds; 8. Animals; 9. Ills; 10. New Zealand; 11. Explanations; 12. Conclusion.

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P Schlueter, December 6, 2013 (view all comments by P Schlueter)
In addition to being a (if not the) premier source on the theory of biological expansion, Crosby’s book is also a thoroughly enjoyable read. Crosby’s writing style is not necessarily informal - word choice is certainly academic as opposed to simplistic - but might perhaps be best described as “drawing room conversational,” in that it adopts a tone that might be most suited for others well-versed in Crosby’s own field. Still, the systemic format of Crosby’s writing, possessing a “background, definition, explanation, example” structure is easy to follow, and should be direct enough for any reader with surface knowledge of the fields of biology and environmental science to grasp. On a larger scale, the work’s chapters are also subdivided into easily-digestible subtopics, such as “Weeds” (discussing the cultivation and transport of vegetation), “Animals” (discussing habitat distribution, domestication, and population altering of fauna), and “Ills” (discussing diseases and other biological differences between Europeans and non-European peoples). Furthermore, given that the book approaches its scientific subjects through the chronological lens of history, it ought to appeal equally to those more comfortable with the disciplines of the liberal arts as well as those at home in the sciences.

On the whole, I would certainly consider Ecological Imperialism a worthwhile book to read, not only for those studying in the scientific fields within which it operates, but more generally for anyone interested in a more empirically-minded historical account of the migration, conquest, and ultimate recession of European powers across the globe.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780521546188
Editor:
Crosby, Alfred W.
Editor:
Worster, Donald
Author:
Crosby, Alfred W.
Author:
Worster, Donald
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Location:
Cambridge
Subject:
World
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Human ecology
Subject:
Biogeography
Subject:
Europeans
Subject:
World - General
Subject:
Animal migration - Europe - History
Subject:
Plants - Europe - Migration - History
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Number:
2
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series:
Studies in Environment and History
Series Volume:
C2KBR/01-3SP
Publication Date:
20040131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.82x6.04x.99 in. 1.18 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » General
History and Social Science » World History » European History General
History and Social Science » World History » General
History and Social Science » World History » Western Civilization
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Microbiology
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General

Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Studies in Environment and History) New Trade Paper
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Product details 368 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521546188 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain; in many cases they were a matter of firearms against spear. But as Alfred Crosby explains in his highly original and fascinating book, the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest.
"Synopsis" by , New edition of this classic work that evaluates the ecological reasons for European expansion.
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