Synopses & Reviews
Few things are more important to human survival than the fertility of the soils from which so much of our food comes. Yet few aspects of the relationship between human society and the environment get so little attention. This book, an environmental history of soils, explores some of the enormous variety in the ways that people have worked with, thought about, damaged, and restored soils. It also shows some of the ways in which soils, their properties and their histories, have influenced human affairs.Unfairly regarded as lacking charisma, soils are the substrate of human society. As this book shows, from northern Europe to southern Africa, and from Australia to Mesoamerica, from the palaeolithic to the present, their history is our history.
About the Author
J. R. McNeill is the author of The Human Web, The Mountains of the Mediterranean World: An Environmental History, and Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of The 20th-Century World. He is a professor of history at the Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University. Verena Winiwarter is a lecturer in human ecology at the University of Vienna. She is a founding member and former president of the European Society for Environmental History.