Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History (Studies in Environment and History)

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ISBN-13: 978-0521811910
ISBN-10: 0521811910
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Hardcover, June 30, 2003
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Editorial Reviews


"Jacobs is the first historian of the region to mesh the human and natural worlds successfully into a seamless socio-environmental analysis that illuminates historical issues as diverse as weather patterns and river flows, agricultural practice, equity, traditional leadership and modern politics. This is achieved with great insight, and provides a fresh perspective on rural South Africa." Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa

"Nancy Jacobs's book, firmly based on deep research in the documents, aerial photographs, and personal interviews, is unideological, nuanced, and scientifically as well as morally informed. It is indispensable for the student of South African environmental history." Alfred W. Crosby, author of Throwing Fire and The Measure of Reality

"Nancy Jacobs's book is an important and innovative one. On the one hand it is a local history of the Kuruman area from precolonial times to late apartheid. On the other hand it originally provides an intersection between environmental and social history, with an additional focus on race. It invites comparison with Colin Murray's Black Mountain, though it covers a far longer time period, and deals with a wider range of issues. It links up problems in new ways, and provides a fresh look at the processes of rural change in South Africa. It is knowledgeable, and offers many original and sometimes controversial interpretations. It makes a stunning book for South African historians, and will be of more general interest to environmental and social historians, as well as those concerned with contemporary land reform." Martin Legassick, University of the Western Cape

"Opportunities change, local expertise may decline, but the environment still persists with its attendant value. So should this book. It offers a fresh chronological outlook for this region and speaks to issues of state discourse, land, and common livelihood...it is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on environmental history in southern Africa." African Studies Review

Book Description

This book explores the environmental dynamic in the history of rural black South Africans. It historicizes food production and other environmental relations, over successive dispensations. But, class, gender and later race, determined the food production individuals practiced. Also, herders and cultivators faced drought, stock disease, bush encroachment, water shortages, and the high labor demands of irrigation. After the mid-twentieth century, the interventionist state, enforcing coercive conservation and segregation, became a partner in black people's relations with the environment. State intervention, as well as an increasing dependence on cash, undermined most food production by blacks.

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Product Details

  • Series: Studies in Environment and History
  • Hardcover: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (June 30, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521811910
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521811910
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,445,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This was such a hard book to read. I found that it didn't have any flow and bogs you down in a lot of detail.
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