Synopses & Reviews
"The Unending Frontier
brings into focus the staggering environmental changes that came with the creation of the early modern world economy. John Richards assembles material from all around the world into a crisp and coherent picture of the meaning of global markets for the biosphere in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. This is a work of the first importance for environmental history, for economic history, and for world history."and#151;John R. McNeill, author of Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World
"A landmark book. Richards moves deftly among various ways of thinking about the early modern environmentand#151;national case studies, studies of particular industries, and reflections on increasing global interconnectionsand#151;so that we get not only a wealth of important data and stories, but multiple perspectives on the topic as a whole. Both the breadth and the depth of the project are inspiring: people will learn new things about environmental change, even in their regions of specialization. But the biggest payoff is in the way Richards weaves environmental change into more familiar early modern stories of global trade, colonialism, technological change, and, above all, state formation. None of these topics will ever look quite the same again."and#151;Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
and#8220;A collection of articles dealing with various environmental subjects covering different parts of the world. This book provides exactly this.and#8221;
and#8220;[Gives] a truly integrative understanding of world history.and#8221;
and#8220;This well-organized, clearly written volume finally eliminates any anxiety environmental historians have wrestled with for decades.and#8221;
The World Hunt focuses on the commercial hunting of wildlife and its profound global impact on the environment and world economy. A comprehensive digest of the massive expansion of the European quest for animal products, this book explores the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling in the Arctic.
Presented here is the final and most coherent section of a sweeping classic work in environmental history, The Unending Frontier. The World Hunt focuses on the commercial hunting of wildlife and its profound global impact on the environment and the early modern world economy. Tracing the massive expansion of the European quest for animal products, The World Hunt explores the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling and sealing on the worldand#8217;s oceans and coastlands.
It was the age of exploration, the age of empire and conquest, and human beings were extending their reachand#151;and their numbersand#151;as never before. In the process, they were intervening in the world's natural environment in equally unprecedented and dramatic ways. A sweeping work of environmental history, The Unending Frontier
offers a truly global perspective on the profound impact of humanity on the natural world in the early modern period.
John F. Richards identifies four broadly shared historical processes that speeded environmental change from roughly 1500 to 1800 c.e.: intensified human land use along settlement frontiers; biological invasions; commercial hunting of wildlife; and problems of energy scarcity. The Unending Frontier considers each of these trends in a series of case studies, sometimes of a particular place, such as Tokugawa Japan and early modern England and China, sometimes of a particular activity, such as the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling in the Arctic. Throughout, Richards shows how humansand#151;whether clearing forests or draining wetlands, transporting bacteria, insects, and livestock; hunting species to extinction, or reshaping landscapesand#151;altered the material well-being of the natural world along with their own.
Since around 1500 C.E., humans have shaped the global environment in ways that were previously unimaginable. Bringing together leading environmental historians and world historians, this book offers an overview of global environmental history throughout this remarkable 500-year period. In eleven essays, the contributors examine the connections between environmental change and other major topics of early modern and modern world history: population growth, commercialization, imperialism, industrialization, the fossil fuel revolution, and more. Rather than attributing environmental change largely to European science, technology, and capitalism, the essays illuminate a series of culturally distinctive, yet often parallel developments arising in many parts of the world, leading to intensified exploitation of land and water.
The wide range of regional studiesand#151;including some in Russia, China, the Middle East, India, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Southern Africa, and Western Europeand#151;together with the book's broader thematic essays makes The Environment and World History ideal for courses that seek to incorporate the environment and environmental change more fully into a truly integrative understanding of world history.
"This collection makes a valuable contribution to the literature. The essays have broad themes and impressive historical sweep. The Burke and Pomeranz volume will find a place on the bookshelf of every environmental historian who teaches the increasingly prevalent survey of world environmental history."and#151;James L.A. Webb, Jr., author of Humanity's Burden: A Global History of Malaria
Ninety percent of the large fish in the world's oceans have disappeared in the past half century, causing the collapse of fisheries along with numerous fish species. In this hard-hitting, provocative exposé, Charles Clover reveals the dark underbelly and hidden costs of putting food on the table at home and in restaurants. From the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo to a seafood restaurant on the North Sea and a trawler off the coast of Spain, Clover pursues the sobering truth about the plight of fish. Along with the ecological impact wrought by industrial fishing, he reports on the implications for our diet, particularly our need for omega-3 fatty acids. This intelligent, readable, and balanced account serves as a timely warning to the general public as well as to scientists, regulators, legislators--and all fishing enthusiasts.
"This book is not just for those interested in fisheries but for those worried about our survival."Mark Kurlansky, author of Cod
and The Big Oyster
"Anyone involved in fishing, seaside communities, or seafood will find themselves amazed, dismayed, enraged, and motivated."Carl Safina, author of Song for the Blue Ocean
About the Author
was Professor of History at Duke University and editor of Land, Property and the Environment
(2001). He was also coeditor of World Deforestation in the Twentieth Century
(1988) and Global Deforestation and the Nineteenth-Century World Economy
(1983). He died in 2007.
John McNeill is professor of history at Georgetown University and author of several books on world and environmental history, most recently Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1640-1914 (2010).
Table of Contents
List of Figures, Maps, and Tables
Part One: Overview
1. Introduction: World History and Environmental History
2. The Big Story: Human History, Energy Regimes, and the Environment
Edmund Burke III
3. Toward a Global System of Property Rights in Land
John F. Richards
Part Two: Rivers, Regions, and Developmentalism
4. The Transformation of the Middle Eastern Environment, 1500 B.C.E.-2 C.E.
Edmund Burke III
5. The Transformation of China's Environment, 1500-2
6. The Rhine as a World River
7. Continuity and Transformation: Colonial Rice Frontiers and Their Environmental Impact on the Great River Deltas of Mainland Southeast Asia
Part Three: Landscapes, Conquests, Communities, and the Politics of Knowledge
8. Beyond the Colonial Paradigm: African History and Environmental History in Large-Scale Perspective
9. Environmental Histories of India: Of States, Landscapes, and Ecologies
10. Latin American Environmental History: A Shifting Old/New Field
11. The Predatory Tribute-Taking State: A Framework for Understanding Russian Environmental History
Douglas R. Weiner
List of Contributors