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Human Impact on Ancient Environments Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0816519637 ISBN-10: 0816519633 Edition: 0th

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Human Impact on Ancient Environments + Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press (October 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816519633
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816519637
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #235,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The primary value of this small book is its breadth. Even where it skips from one idea to another with only light documentation, the reader is forced to reflect. This provides a salutary mental workout that brings a new awareness of historical ecology. Redman's presentation is engaging and rarely categorical; he frequently lets the reader choose among alternative interpretations. . . . Human Impact on Ancient Environments should be required reading for undergraduates of any persuasion and will interest anyone who is concerned about the environmental problems that confront us today." —Science"This is an archaeologist's book, but it will be of considerable use to historians and their students. For the most part, Redman shows considerable good sense, correctly identifies the major issues, and places his assertions within the context of current anthropological debate." —Environmental History"Approachable and concisely constructed . . . As an overview text, it provides an important piece in the emerging picture of how our species has repeatedly squandered natural resources and how we are continuing to do so." —SAS Bulletin

About the Author

Charles L. Redman is Professor and Director of the Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Lee on September 29, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dr. Redman, an archaeologist with anthropological and historical expertise, doesn't care about myth or political correctness. He simply, factually, and with precision demonstrates that man - for better or worse - has been impacting his environment since the days he hopped off the glacier and wanted dinner. The idea of the "green" primitive people, the noble savages in commune with nature, is broken down. Redman demonstrates that humans have used whatever technologies were available to them to manipulate their environment, usually for short term gains and at the expense of long-term environmental quality. But not always. He also lists examples in which various cultures have managed to strike some sort of equilibrium with their environments, at last for periods of time up to a thousand years or more.

Dr. Redman is optomistic about the future, but sounds important warnings for complex societies, including ours. This is a must-read for anyone concerned about environmental issues and involved with environmental policy. And that should be all of us.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Kennedy on July 18, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Of the 25 books I've read in the past year this is the one that will have the most lasting impact. The dominant media factions would have us believe that all native people before European contact lived in pristine eco-edens ruled by peaceful matriarichies, with no toll taken on their habitat. Guess again! Hundreds developed sustainable relationships...but thousands were horribly destructive. "Humans have had a role in transforming virtually every environment and locale on this earth"-(fact) no matter which continent they inhabited. If we as a species don't learn from our mistakes of the past...we'd better find another planet to relocate to.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Boyle on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Nothing particularly exciting. It came quicker than expected and in the specified condition. It's a textbook, so there isn't really anything else to say about it.
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8 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Alec Schwartz on September 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Redman makes a very good point in this novel that should be realized by all, and makes it clear that going back to the new-age hyped "natural" way of living that humanity possesed before contact with the evil Europeans means breaking apart important characteristics of human nature (though he does show that such a way of living is possible and has been done). Yet the amount of time he takes to make his point clear, and the amount of needless background information he includes, makes this book a very tedious read. I recommend this book only to those who have a deep and motivating curiosity about humanity's impact on the world. (Tree huggers, this is a book for you)
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