"An essential reference source."
--Philip Conford, Rural History
"Anyone seeking help in navigating the shoals of environmental history will give fulsome thanks to Don Hughes for this book. It is far and away the best guide yet to the issues and historiography of this emerging field, spanning the globe and delving into the deep as well as recent past."
--J. R. McNeill, Georgetown University
"What is Environmental History? is a masterfully condensed overview of one of the most urgent and rapidly developing fields of history. Written by a scholar of classical antiquity, it gracefully covers ancient, medieval, and modern periods – with a global vision. A state-of-the-art report for any scholar, and a perfect introduction for the student."
--Sverker Sörlin, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm
What is environmental history? It is a kind of history that seeks understanding of human beings as they have lived, worked and thought in relationship to the rest of nature through the changes brought by time. In this seminal student textbook, J. Donald Hughes provides a masterful overview of the thinkers, topics and perspectives that have come to constitute the exciting discipline that is environmental history. He does so on a global scale, drawing together disparate trends from a rich variety of countries into a unified whole, illuminating trends and key themes in the process. Those already familiar with the discipline will find themselves invited to think about the subject in a new way. Students and scholars new to environmental history will find the book both an indispensable guide and a rich source of inspiration for future work.