Ecological Imperialism (Studies in Environment and History) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Color:
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

 


or
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering
Sell Us Your Item
For a $2.00 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Ecological Imperialism (Studies in Environment and History) on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Studies in Environment and History) [Paperback]

Alfred W. Crosby
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

Buy New
$30.00 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, July 15? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition $18.56  
Hardcover $50.09  
Paperback $30.00  
Unknown Binding --  

Book Description

January 12, 2004 0521546184 978-0521546188 2
People of European descent form the bulk of the population in most of the temperate zones of the world--North America, Australia and New Zealand. The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain because in many cases they were achieved by using firearms against spears. Alfred Crosby, however, explains that the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest. Now in a new edition with a new preface, Crosby revisits his classic work and again evaluates the ecological reasons for European expansion. Alfred W. Crosby is the author of the widely popular and ground-breaking books,The Measure of Reality (Cambridge, 1996), and America's Forgotten Pandemic (Cambridge, 1990). His books have received the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Medical Writers Association Prize and been named by the Los Angeles Times as among the best books of the year. He taught at the University of Texas, Austin for over 20 years. First Edition Hb (1986): 0-521-32009-7 First Edition Pb (1987): 0-521-33613-9

Frequently Bought Together

Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900 (Studies in Environment and History) + Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England
Price for both: $44.25

Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review

"In telling this very readable story, Mr. Crosby combines a historian's taste for colorful detail with a scientist's hunger for unifying and testable generalization...[He] shows that there is more to history than kings and battles, and more to ecology than fruit and nuts." The Wall Street Journal

"Crosby argues his case with vigour, authority, and panache, summoning up examples and illustrations that are often as startling in their character as in their implications. Ecological Imperialism could not ask for a more lucid and stylish exponent." Times Literary Supplement

"Crosby has unfolded with great power the wider biopolitics of our civilization." Nature

Book Description

People of European descent form the bulk of the population in most of the temperate zones of the world--North America, Australia and New Zealand. The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain; in many cases they were a matter of firearms against spears. But as Alfred Crosby explains in his highly original and fascinating book, the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest.Now in a new edition with a new preface, Crosby revisits his now classic work and again evaluates the ecological reasons for European expansion.

Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Environment and History
  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition (January 12, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521546184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521546188
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,386 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stimulating and Worthwhile October 7, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
The Europeans' displacement and replacement of native peoples in the temperate zones were more a result of "superior" biology than military conquest, according to Crosby in this book.
Europe held an unassailable biotic mix that some native peoples and ecosystems could not withstand. This biota fucntioned as a team wherever Europeans took it. European germs swept aside native peoples. Europe's cattle, pigs and horses filled native biotic niches. European weeds and agriculture squeezed out native plants. This biological expansion of Europe created "Neo-Europes" which still function today in North America, Australia, New Zealand and southern South America.
European imperialism often failed or was considerably delayed in areas where Europe's biota could not prevail. In China much the same biota was already present. Africa, the Amazon and southeast Asia were too hot, too fecund and too disease-ridden for Europe's animals, plants and humans. These areas were among the last to be dominated as a result, and then only briefly, when Europe's technology gave temporary edge to its armies.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biological winners and losers February 7, 2000
Format:Paperback
This is an excellent book on how and why the Europeans were able to conquer North America, Australia, temperate South America (particularly Argentina), and New Zealand--the so-called Neo-Europes, in Crossby's terminology. Crossby's thesis is simple: the native biota of those places (including humans, of course) did not coevolve with the invaders, and were consequently naive (i.e, unequipped) to deal with them. Or, put another way, the invaders were preadapted to deal with the new conditions, and aggresively advanced, in a teamlike fashion, to encroach the native biota. Crossby also explains why Europeans were not able to conquer other places (such as Greenland, the Labrador region, and the New and Old Worlds tropics), adducing mainly climatic reasons and the lack of technological expertise.
To be sure, Crossby's arguments are not new. However, he does a great job at synthesizing an incredible wealth of historical data. His style, oftentimes humorous, also makes of his book an enjoyable read. I would recommend this book to anyone teaching a comprehensive course on the conquest of the places Crossby deals with. It is a much neglected fact that biology played a crucial role in expanding European culture.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Alfred Crosby is widely credited for popularising the ecological dimension of the history of imperial expansion. For this reason, and perhaps this reason alone, his book is worth a read.

The book, first published in 1986, revolutionised the way we think about European imperial expansion into the New World. How a few hundred disoriented Europeans armed with spears and misfiring guns managed to overwhelm entire Inca and Aztec civilisations in the early sixteenth century, for example. Crosby convincingly casts aside traditional political or military explanations by attributing the astonishing Portuguese and Spanish victories to bacteriology: how diseases such as smallpox and measles that the Europeans unwittingly carried with them wiped out thousands of New World inhabitants, severely crippling their defences.

The larger point that Crosby drives across is a profound one. Historical events - in this case, European expansion and imperialism - can be explained predominantly by ecological factors. In the clash of `biotas' between the Old and the New World, the Old World won. Convincingly. Hence the presence not just of Europeans in the Americas, but also of pigs and dandelions. According to this thesis, ecology shaped European expansion; creating `Neo-Europes' in the New World that facilitated European migration, precipitating the `Caucasian wave' from the 1820s to the 1930s. Unlike in most other histories, in Crosby's ecological history, humans form the backdrop and inexorable ecological forces take centre-stage.

Refreshing as this perspective is, the way that Crosby has rendered it is problematic in on a number of accounts.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Biological losers and winners January 25, 2000
Format:Paperback
'Ecological imperialism: The biological expansion of Europe, 900-1900', by A. W. Crosby, is a cogently argued and well written book. The main thesis of the book is that the expansion by Europeans to the Americas, Australia, New Zealand, and a few other enclaves (what Crosby calls the Neo-Europes) wouldn't have succeded if the biota the Europeans brought with them had not suceeded. This biota included not only humans, of course, but pathogens, weeds and grasses, and horses, cattle, goats, and pigs, among the most important. Crosby addresses the reasons why this biota was so succesful in the new territories, and concludes that, in general, the climatic regimes there were sufficiently similar to those of its European origins and the indigenous biota was so 'naive' that 'victory' was almost assured to the invaders. To be sure, this is not an original conclusion, but the wealth of data Crosby uses, along with his synthetic power and sense of humor, makes of this book an enjoyable and thought-provoking read. People interested in searching for the biological causes of the successes (and failures!) of Europeans in the world should read this engaging book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential book that describes how our world became what it is
Well written history that presents a cogent theory within an interesting narrative. You read the book and are left with a desire to see the world that was destroyed. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ecological "Why" of European Imperialism
Crosby begins Ecological Imperialism by drawing attention to the “Neo-Europes,” a concept he describes as temperate zones scattered across the globe, which are characterized by an... Read more
Published 2 months ago by J CRISSINGERCLARK
5.0 out of 5 stars Environmental "Evolution" . . . for better or worse
I took a course from Professor Crosby at the time he was writing "The Columbian Exchange." In some respects, "Ecological Imperialism" is a companion work. Read more
Published 3 months ago by John A. Scherting
4.0 out of 5 stars Lot's of great stories, but an outdated question
I like Crosby's bantering style and his loads of mini-stories. But the question he asks is not something I've worried about for several decades. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Brian Griffith
4.0 out of 5 stars Vital!
'Ecological imperialism: The biological expansion of Europe, 900-1900', by A. W. Crosby is a very informative read. Read more
Published on July 31, 2011 by Christina Wells
5.0 out of 5 stars HIT CITY
This book is what you call "a hit." The edition I read was printed in 1990 and represented the fifth repress. Read more
Published on May 16, 2011 by S. Pactor
4.0 out of 5 stars Ecological Imperialism
Crosby's book is a must read for anyone studying environmental history, particularly in the context of European imperialism. Read more
Published on September 22, 2010 by C. Blair
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This book is simply a must read for anyone doing Economic History, Development, or Economic Growth. It is one of the most influential books I have ever read. Read more
Published on October 13, 2009 by Thorstein Veblen
3.0 out of 5 stars Problematic and missing information
This book sets out what Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies does, but in a less original way. Read more
Published on August 26, 2008 by Seth J. Frantzman
5.0 out of 5 stars Triumph of the pig, the rat, the dandelion, the smallpox virus... and...
The most impressive and pleasant aspect of this new approach to world history is the non-anthropocentric perspective Crosby adopts. Read more
Published on February 25, 2006 by mokka
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only





Forums

There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 



Look for Similar Items by Category