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Man and Nature: Or Physical Geography As Modified By Human Action (Classic Reprint) Paperback – July 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 610 pages
  • Publisher: Forgotten Books (July 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440065462
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440065460
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,534,064 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

First published in 1864, this cautionary exploration of how civilizations decline when they degrade the natural world is the wellspring of the environmental movement. (T.H. Watkins Washington Post)

This classic of conservation, Man and Nature, is a remarkable work. Written more than 100 years ago, it remains as rich and suggestive now as it must have been astonishing then...The editor has written an excellent and meticulously balanced foreword...It should be added that the labor of Lowenthal in correcting, amplifying, and annotating the original creation of Marsh is beyond cavil. (Los Angeles Times) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

First published in 1864, Man and Nature inspired the modern conservation movement and was the most influential text of its time next to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert T. Ernst on January 3, 2007
Format: Paperback
Although a dipolmat by profession, Marsh was the first environmentalist to describe the interrelationships between environment and culture. Today he is best remembered for his key work, "Man and Nature." In that classic work, he was the first to suggest that human agency constituted a major element in landscape change. The accepted view held by prominent geographers and geologists of his day was that the physical aspects of the earth were entirely the result of natural process and phenomena, including topography, geological materials, erosion, weathering, climate, etc. Before Marsh, no one had ever thought to study the earth in ways that it was changed by human actions. After his pioneering work, no serious environmentalist or geoscientist can afford to overlook the consequences of those actions on the land. A well-read copy of this book belongs in the personal library of every earth scientist, environmentalist, and conservationist. Marsh's book is a MUST READ for anyone concerned about what people are doing to the earth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. Warren on November 13, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In 1864, George P. Marsh explained how civilizations create ecological disasters. His central thesis is that cutting down forests desrupts otherwise stable hydrological cycles, thereby causing erosion and degrading plant and animal habitats. The book is vaste, creative and detailed. An American from Vermont, Marsh also lived in Turkey and Italy, and pursued numerous careers, as diplomat, lawyer, businessman, and professor. His intense love of language and history merged with direct observations here and abroad to generate a remarkable breadth of knowlegde and a strong desire to communicate. In Man and Nature, Marsh is not only inspired, he is also happy to digress, particularly in the abundant footnotes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JSJ on February 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written 150 years ago and more poignant than ever. If you care about the planet, get this. Read. This. Book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who else in the 1860s was saying that man was a devastating force against nature? Geo P Marsh observed the way the woods of his youth in Vermont had been desolated, laid waste, and felt the need to shout out against all those who insisted that nature was indomitable and endless. His book is documentation of all the ways that man had totally altered the topography of the planet from civilization's first appearance. He uses the vast knowledge that he had accumulated in years spent in Mediterrean countries to show how man had reduced his environment to meet his immediate needs. The overall point was that man is in a class by himself, not part of nature at all, but a ferocious agent of change. The tone of the book is documentary and objective rather than pleading or pitying. Readers may wish that Marsh had permitted himself some sermonizing but he just lets the facts speak.
Important note: this particular edition is pretty bad. Many letters and words are only partially visible. It seems that the type was worn out so that many letters are only half printed.
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