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In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society Hardcover – April 7, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195396065
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195396065
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,371,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Adds a significant dimension to Latin American environmental history. It is one of the first sustained investigations of the human and economic costs of climate change in the region, and numbers among a handful of studies to weigh the long-term implications of glacier retreat anywhere in the world." --American Historical Review

"In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers addresses a topic that has been virtually unexplored in the historiography of the Andes and will be regarded as a significant contribution to the study of the historical construction of nature and disasters. In this original and beautifully written book, Mark Carey contributes to the study of Andean environmental, political, economic, and cultural history."-Carlos Aguirre, University of Oregon

"Mark Carey puts local people at the center of his path-breaking historical analysis. Here, culture often trumps science in shaping human adaptations to global climate change."-Julie Cruikshank, author of Do Glaciers Listen? Local Knowledge, Colonial Encounters, and Social Imagination

"Glaciers in the Cordillera Blanca have attracted my scientific interest for more then twenty years. Still, I never got rid of a feeling that there is something behind the objectively scrutinized glaciers that we cannot understand. After reading Mark Carey's book all the interest of the people in 'their' glaciers, and even more their disinterest in them, became evident to me. I started to understand why our instruments have been locked away by local communities for years, why regional policy makers listened to our accounts about dangers and threats from glaciers with apparently great interest but without any intent for taking action. In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers is highly attractive for scientists of all kinds by showing in an emphatic way how incomplete scientific results can remain without understanding the related societies' perceptions."-Georg Kaser, University of Innsbruck

"This is a compelling, meticulously documented, and jargon-free presentation of the social changes a highly stratified, remote society has faced over the past 70 years. Highly recommended." -- CHOICE

"A rigorous, meticulous, and engaging study...This is a book that should be required reading for anyone interested in environmental history or the history of science and technology in Latin America and beyond but it will also prove accessible to upper level undergraduate and graduate courses on Modern Latin America in general." --Contra Corriente

In this timely book, Mark Carey explores this recent environmental history by examining not just the relationship between humans and their physical environment, but also that among the growing number of stakeholders involved in the mitigation process, including glacier experts, state institutions and scientific commissions, industry advocates and, above all, the Andean peoples themselves. Social History

A captivating historical analysis rich with insight into one of the more urgent topics of our time human response to climate change . In a world dangerously enamored with the promise of the amoral technological fix, the book also offers the important reminder that all scientific expertise is socially and historically constructed and suggests that seeing scientists and engineers as stakeholders rather than objective producers of information may facilitate the implementation of mitigation and adaptation processes that must balance the needs of diverse and oft-conflicted groups. Social and Cultural Geography

About the Author

Mark Carey is an Assistant Professor of History at Washington and Lee University.

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Format: Paperback
In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society provides a strong survey of the science and social impact of melting glaciers, using Andean social experience as the foundation for this survey. How glacier melt affects real people on a daily basis is presented in this focus on how the Andean people have witnessed, experienced, and handled the effects of climate change and natural disasters for more than a century. College-level collections strong in climate change and South American experiences need this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Quinn on April 9, 2010
Format: Paperback
This new book is simply fantastic. It puts a real, human face on the complex abstractions we associate with climate change. The writing is sharp, alive and makes plain the author's authentic and deep understanding of his subject. Carey manages to make technical and historical matters not only entirely accessible but extremely interesting. The book reads like a story yet teaches like a text. I've read so much about climate change and I think In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers is the most important addition to climate change work since An Inconvenient Truth. Can't recommend it enough.
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