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Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History

Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this ambitious and provocative text, environmental historian Ted Steinberg offers a sweeping history of the United States--a history that, for the first time, places the environment at the very center of the narrative. Now in a new edition, Down to Earth reenvisions the story of America "from the ground up." It reveals how focusing on plants, animals, climate, and other ecological factors can radically change the way that we think about the past. Examining such familiar topics as colonization, the industrial revolution, slavery, the Civil War, and the emergence of consumer culture, Steinberg recounts how the natural world influenced the course of human history. From the colonists' attempts to impose order on the land to modern efforts to sell the wilderness as a consumer good, he reminds readers that many critical episodes in U.S. history were, in fact, environmental events. The text highlights the ways in which Americans have attempted to reshape and control nature, from Thomas Jefferson's surveying plan, which divided the national landscape into a grid, to the transformation of animals, crops, and even water into commodities.

In the second edition, Steinberg has thoroughly revised and updated the section on the twentieth century. He also introduces a timely new theme--the rise of the corporation. By addressing the ways in which nature functions in the world of big business, as well as the efforts by environmentalists to combat corporate power, Steinberg provides a richer understanding of consumerism.

Down to Earth is ideal for courses in environmental history, environmental studies, urban studies, economic history, and American history. Passionately argued and thought provoking, this powerful text retells our nation's history with nature in the foreground--a perspective that will challenge our view of everything from Jamestown to McDonald's.

About the Author

Ted Steinberg is Davee Professor of History and Law at Case Western Reserve University. He is author of American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn (2007), Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America (OUP, 2000), Slide Mountain, or the Folly of Owning Nature (1996), and Nature Incorporated (1994).

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgments to the Second Edition

Acknowledgments

Prologue: Rocks and History

Part One. Chaos to Simplicity

1. Wilderness under Fire

2. A Truly New World

3. Reflections from a Woodlot

Part Two. Rationalization and Its Discontents

4. A World of Commodities

5. King Climate in Dixie

6. The Great Food Fight

7. Extract the New South

8. The Unforgiving West

9. Conservation Reconsidered

10. Death of the Organic City

Part 3. Consuming Nature

11. Moveable Feast

12. The Secret History of Meat

13. America in Black and Green

14. Throwaway Society

15. Shades of Green

16. In Corporations We Trust

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195331820
Subtitle:
Nature's Role in American History
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Author:
Steinberg, Theodore
Author:
Steinberg, Ted
Author:
null, Ted
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
North America
Subject:
History
Subject:
Human beings
Subject:
Natural Resources
Subject:
North American
Subject:
Historical geography
Subject:
United States Environmental conditions.
Subject:
Human beings -- Effect of environment on.
Subject:
History, Other | Environmental History
Subject:
US History-General
Subject:
History, American | Cultural
Publication Date:
20080325
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
73 illus.
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
6.1 x 9 x 1.1 in 1.1 lb

Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Native American » General Native American Studies
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Natural History » General
Textbooks » General

Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History
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Product details 384 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195331820 Reviews:
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