Synopses & Reviews
An overview of contemporary environmental affairs, from 1940s to the present—with an emphasis on nature in an urbanized society, land developments, environmental technology, the structure of environmental politics, environmental opposition, and the results of environmental policy.
“ . . . the book succeeds in synthesizing an enormous range of issues and ideas into one readable book. . . .The style of the book is very logical and concise, which means that upper-level undergraduates as well as scholars can follow its arguments. Those scholars and students of environmental politics and policy in the USA and advanced idustrial nations more generally will greatly profit from reading this book.”
Long before public life in America was enlivened with such dramatic sound bites as acid rain, global warming, rain forests, and the ozone layer, Samuel P. Hays was well launched on his career of tracking environmental politics. His first foray, a book on the early twentieth-century conservation movement, published in 1958, helped to launch environmental history as a field, and his continued writings after coming to the University of Pittsburgh in 1960 helped to bring the field to full flower. Now he has produced another volley which promises to continue to energize this growing and dynamic field of study, A History of Environmental Politics since 1945.
Hays provides an overview of environmental politics during the last half century, both its formative and its maturing years, that will be useful to those who are actively engaged in environmental affairs and those who wish to watch and assess it from the sidelines. His themes are both simple and diverse. His overall focus is on the emergence of an environmental culture that has engaged millions of Americans in varied ways of thought and action, on the one hand, and the intense opposition to that drive on the other.
Hays traces these themes through a wide range of issues such as the role of nature in an urban society; pollution and its causes and effects; the impact of an ever increasing population and its voracious appetite to consume. At the same time, he follows these threads through science, technology, economics, management, the structure of politics, and the results of policy.
A History of Environmental Politics since 1945 provides an introduction to the subject for both the specialist and the lay audience, the general publicand the student. The text provides a high level of insight that will inform both those who are environmental experts and those who wish to take a first step at grasping the meaning of environmental issues. It constitutes a formative guide for a subject that promises to engage the nation ever more fully in the years to come.