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Green Versus Gold: Sources in California's Environmental History
Synopses & Reviews
While the state of California remains one of the most striking and varied landscapes in the world, it has experienced monumental changes since European settlers first set foot there. The past two centuries have witnessed an ongoing struggle between environment and economy, nature and humanity that has left an indelible mark on the region.
Green Versus Gold provides a compelling look at California's environmental history from its Native American past to conflicts and movements of recent decades. Acclaimed environmental historian Carolyn Merchant has brought together a vast storehouse of primary sources and interpretive essays to create a comprehensive picture of the history of ecological and human interactions in one of the nation's most diverse and resource-rich states.
For each chapter, Merchant has selected original documents that give readers an eyewitness account of specific environments and periods, along with essays from leading historians, geographers, scientists, and other experts that provide context and analysis for the documents. In addition, she presents a list of further readings of both primary and secondary sources. Among other topics, chapters examine.
Merchant's informed and well-chosen selections present a unique view of decades of environmental change and controversy. Historians, educators, environmentalists, writers, students, scientists, policy makers, and others will find the book an enlightening and important contribution to the debate over our nation's environmental history.
Book News Annotation:
A collection of analytical essays and primary source documents ranging in time from 1774 to 1994 explore the history of environmental usage, degradation, and conservation struggles in California. The selections are divided into sections on the natural environment, the use of Indian lands, Spanish and Russian encounters with California, the impact of the gold rush, timber exploitation, the abuse of rangelands, the growth of the hydraulic "empire," the transition from family farms to agribusiness, park preservation, battles over energy, the urban environment, environmental science, and contemporary environmental movements. The works of such notables as Mark Twain, Judi Bari, John Steinbeck, and Cesar Chavez, as well as less famous ranchers, loggers, Native Americans, and foreign explorers are included in the documents. In addition, the editor contributes an essay on the future of environmental ethics.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
"Green Versus Gold" provides a compelling look at California's environmental history from its Native American past to conflicts and movements of recent decades. Carolyn Merchant has brought together primary sources and interpretive essays to create a comprehensive picture of the history of ecological and human interactions.
About the Author
Carolyn Merchant is professor of environmental history, philosophy, and ethics at the University of California, Berkeley. She is author of numerous books including The Death of Nature (Harper San Francisco, 1990) and Earthcare (Routledge, 1995).
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