Synopses & Reviews
Bringing together a wide range of environmental issues that have been debated since the mid-1950s, this book views these issues as a result of changes in values in American society since World War II. The author explores such substantive issues as pollution, natural lands, chemical carcinogens, and population-resources balances. He examines the politics of environmental science, economic analysis, planning, and management, and traces the impact of environmental issues on local, state, and federal government. The book explores political controversy to shed light on the working of political institutions and to establish their relationship to social change.
"Hays argues that environmentalists arose from a `fundamental and central' change in values among the American people following World War II. In developing his thesis Hays gives nearly encyclopedic coverage to a wide range of environmental issues, from wild lands, to toxics, to population growth, and examines attempts to resolve those issues in legislative, administrative, and judicial forums. This is a very important book. It raises issues of concern to all American historians and thus deserves wide reading and vigorous debate." Journal of American History
"The book is a marvel of integration and focus." Journal of Forest History
"...may be the most important recent work in environmental history. It is addressed to the general public, citizen activists, environmental decision makers, and historians. Encyclopedic, it covers the history of the the urban environment, public wildlands, the countryside, toxic problems, and issues of population, resources, and the limits of growth." ISIS
"Using the environmental movement as a case study, Samuel Hays looks at the way in which values emerge, are articulated in the public arena, come into conflict with established systems of production and governance, change the system, and are changed by it. Here are the considered thoughts of an excellent historian on major changes in postwar America and, as such, essential reading for anyone interested in the period." Pacific Historical Review
This book explores political controversy to shed light on the working of political institutions and to establish their relationship to social change.
The impact of environmental issues on government is traced by exploring controversial policies and clarifying relationships between political institutions and changing social values in contemporary America.
Table of Contents
Preface; Introduction: Environmental Politics - the New and the Old; 1. From conservation to environment; 2. Variation and pattern in the environmental impulse; 3. The urban environment; 4. The nation's wildlands; 5. The countryside: A land rediscovered, yet threatened; 6. The toxic environment; 7. Population, resources, and the limits to growth; 8. Environmental inquiry and ideas; 9. The environmental opposition; 10. The politics of science; 11. The politics of economic analysis and planning; 12. The middle ground: Management of environmental restraint; 13. Environmental politics in the States; 14. The politics of legislation, administration, and litigation; 15. The Reagan antienvironmental revolution; 16. Environmental society and environmental politics; Notes; Index.