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Consuming Nature: Environmentalism in the Fox River Valley, 1850-1950 Hardcover – September 5, 2006

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 270 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; annotated edition edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700614869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700614868
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,063,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A well-organized and exceptionally well-documented study that is an important contribution both the regional history and to environmental history."—American Historical Review

"By examining people's everyday relationship and their appetites for the various representations of wilderness, historians like Summers have yielded narratives that relate all kinds of people to the environmental movement, as well as to 'the corridors of power.'"—History Compass

"Simply put, this book is an important addition to the literature. Summers has produced a unique and fresh perspective on the roots of modern environmentalism. As such, this book should find a wide audience not only in Wisconsin but also among environmental historians and, indeed, anyone concerned about the future of the natural world."—Reviews in American History

"Summers helps us understand America's transition from a producer to a consumer society. He also sheds light on important aspects of modern environmentalism, particularly the way, for most Americans, the connection between the large-scale manipulation of nature and the consumption of various goods and services became largely hidden."—Annals of Iowa

From the Back Cover

"Consuming Nature is a first-rate environmental history of the Fox River Valley of central Wisconsin. But Summers' larger goal is to demonstrate how industrial and agricultural change combined with the emergence of large-scale technological systems like highways and electrical networks to produce modern American consumer culture, thereby creating the material and cultural conditions out of which modern environmentalism would eventually emerge in the mid-twentieth century. The result was a transformation in American ways of thinking about nature that has shaped our politics ever since."--William Cronon, author of Nature's Metropolis

"Raises large, provocative questions about contemporary environmentalism and its ambivalence about economic progress."--Donald Worster, author of Rivers of Empire

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Consuming Nature: Environmentalism In The Fox River Valley, 1850-1950 has an unusual dual nature - in one respect, it is a straightforward chronicle of the debate in Wisconsin's Fox River Valley more than fifty years ago, when the populace questioned and resisted the paper industry's heedless practice of dumping pollution into the Fox River. On a deeper level, Consuming Nature examines not only how this microcosm struggle, repeated in numerous areas elsewhere throughout the state and the nation, reflected not only the clash of economic industrial forces versus environmentalists, but also how it represented the growth of a consumer society. Consumers craved employment and products created by the paper industry, but consumers also craved the ability to enjoy recreation in Fox River, a privilege that excess pollution was about to destroy. At its core, Consuming Nature dares to advance the thesis that the modern environmental movement owes far more than most anyone would admit to the power and influence of consumer society.
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Format: Hardcover
Purchased as text book for class given by author. Interesting historical information about the environmental movement evolution in the state of Wisconsin.
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