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Environmental Values in American Culture (MIT Press) Paperback – August 1, 1996

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Kempton, Boster and Hartley's research documents in rich detail the fundamental beliefs and values that underpin Americans' concern about environmental quality. Their in-depth, ethnographic interviews yield a vivid portrait of the ecological worldview that has taken root throughout our society in recent decades. This book should be read by all those who think environmentalism is a passing fad, as well as by anyone interested in understanding how the typical American thinks about environmental problems."

(Riley E. Dunlap, Professor of Sociology, Washington State University)

"Bypassing the polemic of environmentalists and their opponents, this study takes the unique appraoch of defining American environmental values by listening closely to Americans. It contains some surprises for both sides. Kempton and his colleagues find that Americans share a common set of cultural values and understandings of nature that explain both the broad and persistent support for environmentalism and some popular misconceptions about newly identified environmental problems like global warming. This study will help environmentalists, environmental scientists, and educator by clearing away their misconceptions about the American public."

(Paul C. Stern, Study Director of the committee on the Human Dimensions of Global Change)

"This book will be of interest to those concerned with global environmental issues, ranging from scientists, to policy makers, to educators. The research is original, the scholarship is sound, and the writing is clear and readable."

(Mario Molina, Professor, Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT)

About the Author

Willett M. Kempton is Associate Professor of Marine Policy at the University of Delaware.


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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (August 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262611236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262611237
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,994,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very academic and very informative. I really like the topic and the author does a lot of research and presents the information in a well written, engaging way. I recommend it to anyone studying the topic, interested in how Americans came to have their values about the environment and especially anyone wishing to write a paper on the topic. It really was a very interesting to read.
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Format: Hardcover
Kempton has done a real service to students and activists on all
sides of environmental issues, by going out to find out what
people "in the street" really think. With surveys and interviews,
presented simply and clearly (without a jungle of tables and
graphs) this study shows us just how deeply environmental values
have penetrated the national consciousness.

This book shows that environmental conservation is a majority, mainstream
issue in the USA today. Americans from all walks of life,
even people who make their living from cutting down forests and
fishing our lakes and rivers, are now "environmentalists." And most are
willing to make economic sacrifices to improve the state of the natural

The book has already had an impact on Washington. After this book
came out, the Republican party suddenly dropped its anti-environmental
rhetoric (though not its policies), and stopped trying to gut the EPA.
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