Synopses & Reviews
This wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past traces the origins of the concept, discusses the thinkers who have shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped the modern perception of our place in nature. Donald Worster focuses on the dramatic shifts in man's view of the living world that have occurred since the eighteenth century, looking closely at the contributions of such figures as Linnaeus, Gilbert White, Darwin, and Thoreau, as well as those of the twentieth-century ecologists Frederic Clements, Aldo Leopold, and Eugene Odum. The author has written a new preface for this work, which was first published by Sierra Club Books in 1977.
"...Worster skillfully integrates environmental and intellectual history in a way that gives powerful testimony to the way a historical understanding of the ecology of place can contribute to the history of ideas." Isis"Excellently written and highly absorbing...The in-depth treatment Worster has given to many who contributed to the evolution and revolution of the discipline reflects scholarship of high order. To write in a highly readable and absorbing style makes it even more praiseworthy. Graduates in ecology at baccalaureate to doctoral levels, and the many practitioners of the discipline, basic and applied, would do well to take stock of where they came from. Worster is a very worthwhile guide." Edward J. Kormondy, Ecology
Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past. It traces the origins of the concept, discusses the thinkers who have shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped the modern perception of our place in nature. The book includes portraits of Linnaeus, Gilbert White, Darwin, Thoreau, and such key twentieth-century ecologists as Rachel Carson, Frederic Clements, Aldo Leopold, James Lovelock, and Eugene Odum. It concludes with a new Part VI, which looks at the directions ecology has taken most recently.
Including portraits of Linnaeus, Gilbert White, Darwin, Thoreau and key twentieth-century ecologists, Worster shows how ecology's past has shaped the modern perception of humans' place in nature.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 474-496) and index.
Table of Contents
Preface; Part I. Two Road Diverged: Ecology in the Eighteenth Century: 1. Science in Arcadia; 2. The empire of reason; Part II. The Subversive Science: Thoreau's Romantic Ecology: 3. A naturalist in concord; 4. Nature looking into nature; 5. Roots and branches; Part III. The Dismal Science: Darwinian Ecology: 6. A fallen world; 7. The education; 8. Scrambling for place; 9. The ascent of man; Part IV. O Pioneers: Ecology on the Frontier: 10. Words on a map; 11. Clements and the climax community; 12. Dust follows the plow; Part V. The Morals of a Science: Ethics, Economics, and Ecology: 13. The value of a varmint; 14. Producers and consumers; 15. Declarations of interdependence; Part VI. The Age of Ecology: Science and the Fate of the Earth: 16. Healing the planet; 17. Disturbing nature; Notes; Glossary of terms; Selected Bibliography; Index.