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The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon, Updated Edition Paperback – January 15, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: The University of Chicago Press; Updated edition (January 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226322726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226322728
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #980,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Hecht's and Cockburn's historical perspective is illuminating.... They are to be congratulated." - Nature "This is a powerful book, elegantly written and well informed." - Times Literary Supplement"

About the Author

 

Susanna Hecht is professor in the School of Public Affairs and the Institute of the Environment at the University of California, Los Angeles.   She is the author of   The Scramble for the Amazon and the Tropical Odyssey of Euclides de Cunha, and coeditor of   The Social Lives of Forests: Forest Recovery in the Past, Present and Future, both forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Alexander Cockburn is coeditor of CounterPunch, and a regular columnist for the Nation and First Post. He has contributed to numerous periodicals including the New York Review, the London Review, Harpers, and the Atlantic Monthly, and is the author of several books, including Political Ecology, Corruptions of Empire, and The Golden Age Is in Us.

 

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By David Turner on February 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems only appropriate to review the remarkable and engaging book about the fate of the Amazon on Amazon.com. The website's name suggests huge and good, and leaves a lot unsaid. My own perception of the Amazon rain forest has been that it was huge (but under assault and diminishing hour-by-hour) and good (diverse species, carbon absorbing). For me at least, the rest wasn't so much unsaid as barely imagined: green, canopy, impenetrable, rivers with piranhas, brutal roads, fires. What is the Amazon, actually?

So, this book tells us its dimensions; its historical role (for much longer than I knew) in imagination and in political and economic calculations; how it came under assault, like the rest of the planet, as we upped our industrial game; and remarkable insight into the present trend. But the dimension I hadn't grasped at all was the lives of people, the cultures, the ways of living in the Amazon. As a city boy, I'm accustomed to local complexity, and this book gave me a view of the complex relationships, conflicts, and ways of living that are the human aspect of life in the forest.

The present is complicated too, but the going-going-gone idea that's been a spiritual toothache isn't the whole story. Determined and to some extent successful initiatives have preserved some of the forest as a bio-resource, as a carbon sink, and as the home and land of people and their ways of life. The game is in full play, not winding down to a hollywooded bio-disaster. With the emergence of global trade in carbon credits, there may be new power and money in the movement to keep the Amazon huge and good.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By wildflowerboy on July 18, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In "The Fate of the Forest", independent journalists Susanna Hecht and Alexander Cockburn guide us deep into the Amazon rainforest, helping us to better understand the social, economic, ecological, and political dynamics of this threatened bioregion with its diverse tropical plant life, endangered species, and indigenous peoples. Along the way, we meet a myriad of environmental activists, union organizers, and indigenous leaders who are standing up bravely to the multinational corporations destroying the forest. If you care at all about the planet, it will sicken you to read about the clear-cutting of the forest for cattle ranches and soy plantations and how mining companies are contaminating the rivers, fish, and native peoples with mercury. Really, this is a great book, one that every environmentalist needs to read. I highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katie Brubaker on April 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
Great book, clearly spells out the implications of losing our rain forests. Doesn't get too heavy on the political side either.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mwood on July 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book to aid in research. It's accurate and informative. But the writing style is extremely dry, and it is definitely for a higher level reader.
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More About the Author

Susanna Hecht has worked in Latin America for more than 30 years. She has lived and researched tropical ranching, industrial soy farming in Brazil and Bolivia, worked with native populations (the Kayapo), rubber tappers in Acre state, forest extractors in Maranhao, quilombos ( former runaway slave settlements) in Amapa and Rondonia) and with peasant groups in the eastern Amazon. She has also studied forest recovery in El Salvador and Mexico.

Susanna is a scholar but one also engaged in activism that supports forests AND people who have lived and shaped them. This has led her into Amazonian forest history, Latin American social history, as well as exploration of alternatives to destructive and socially retrograde forms of development. With a background in soil science and agroecology she has explored the soil impacts of different land uses and made important contributions to the discovery and management of "Terra Preta" the anthropogenic, high nutrient soils of Amazonia, and studied how local populations have managed various resources. In Central America she has studied (using remote sensing) how areas that were almost totally cleared a couple of decades ago now have recovered their forests.
She is considered a "political ecologist": that is someone who looks at how politics, history and economics have shaped today's tropical landscapes.

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