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The Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination First Edition Edition

2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195076240
ISBN-10: 0195076249
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bancroft Prize-winning historian Worster ( Dust Bowl ) writes with a deep understanding of nature and its place in human affairs. In these lucid, authoritative essays, he ranges through American history to explore the people, ideas and economic developments that have shaped our attitudes and behaviors toward the land. The ecological crisis, he stresses, is " the crisis of modern culture," brought on by modernity's materialism. Several pieces address the roles of population growth, technology and the market economy in the degradation of the environment. Others exhibit a narrower focus, e.g., how Protestantism helped shape John Muir and other environmental reformers. Worster's examinations of the myths and realities behind our interaction with nature provide a needed perspective.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This collection of 16 essays concerns the impact on nature of Judeo-Christian belief, Adam Smith's economic theories, and humankind generally and also offers a historical perspective on the growth of environmental history. A common theme is Aldo Leopold's idea of a "land ethic." Worster shares his own awakening of environmental consciousness, and the essays reflect a diversity of sources and information. Environmental historians must be able to digest and understand data from science as well as other academic disciplines. Worster excels at this task; that, and his forthrightness and willingness to express opinions, make this book a winner. Recommended for both general readers and specialists in the field.
- Patricia Owens, Wabash Valley Coll. , Mt. Carmel, Ill.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (April 8, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195076249
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195076240
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,196,790 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Worster's essays make up the best kind of history of environmentalist thought. He gives ecological ideas a hard, critical evaluation, compares them honestly with competing ideas, and reaches all kinds of prudent conclusions. The book explores the cultural shifts in environmentalism over time, including their religious dimensions. Worster deals with the big ideas behind our culture wars, the failings of our past visions, and the dangers of emerging visions, which could derail ecology into a huge new bioengineering scheme for remaking nature to fit our consumer demand. It's dense reading, but fascinating and challenging. Worster looks as far into the future as he does into the past, and thinks hard about what kinds of community, religion, common sense and economics can possibly achieve what's needed for a healthy planet.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Meredith Folsom on July 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really loved this book. The author besides being quite vivid, poetically, delves into the realm of American historical events from an ecological viewpoint. I believe this is a very important issue. The question arises, "What then shall we do?" The author doesn't leave you hanging with no standards and gives solid reasons why there is hope that our behavior as a nation can change.
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