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The Holocene: An Environmental History 2nd Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0631186373
ISBN-10: 0631186379
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"By comprehensively covering the interaction between the human and natural environment over the last 11,500 years, Neil Roberts has provided a stimulating and entertaining overview of an important topic which will prove useful to the lay-person as well as the experienced geographer. This is a book that is not only technically good, it is also extremely readable. I thoroughly recommend it, not only to those with a special interest in the Quaternary, but to all with a general interest in either natural science or human history." James Shulmeister, Victoria University of Wellington <!--end-->

"Neil Roberts' book on the Holocene is already a classic. All the additions and changes of the second edition may be sumarized as positive improvements to what was already an excellent book. Most importantly, the science has been updated without changing its distinctive character. At the same time, the book has been brightened up, which makes it all the more attractive to handle and read. More power to Neil Roberts' already considerable elbow as he takes up the Chair in Physical Geography at the University of Plymouth!" John Matthews, The Holocene

"Roberts, by background a geographer, has obviously immersed himself in the other disciplines, and he has turned out a wonderful and very up-to-date synthesis of the present state of knowledge about the history of the Holocene. Although this is the second edition. It is in many places a complete rewrite of the original, integrating most of the new discoveries and reinterpretations in this field. One of the surprising pleasures is that the author combines excellent scholarship with a very enjoyable writing style. For those who wish to learn more, the 48-page bibliography is a comprehensive source to the relevant primary literature. Highly recommended to general readers and students and scholars at all levels." C. W. Dimmick, Central Connecticut State University

"Here is a book at once erudite and understandable (there is a helpful glossary, a thorough bibliography and an appendix concerning radiocarbon ages), necessary reading for students, and those with an interest in our hapless history." Ecology

"As a readable and attractive introduction suitable for non-specialists, illustrated with a good selection of colour photographs and some excellent diagrams and maps, The Holocene should attract a wide readership." Danny Yee, University of Sydney

"This text, now as a second edition, is without doubt one of the finest efforts to comprehensively examine the earth's changing surface over the past 15,000 years. Above all what is learned from The Holoceneis that change frequently is revolutionary not evolutionary. The 10,000-year perspective provides stimulating and fascinating reading for all environmental professionals." Constantine N. Raphael, Eastern Michigan University

"With its global coverage, The Holocene provides an excellent introduction to the late Quaternary. I have used the new edition, and previously the first edition, to launch an upper-level seminar in paleoecology and paleoclimatology. The students enjoy the broad overview that it gives with abundant mention of human activities. With over 900 references of which a third are from the 1990s, the book gives readers a good sense of the vast literature available; and, with further updating from GeoRef and other on-line sources, readers can investigate research topics with a sense of the many issues involved."Thompson Webb III, Brown University


"The first edition was comprehensive and well received, and this edition builds on that basis, employing many of these recent advances to refine and expand the picture Roberts painted in the first edition." Peter Gell, University of Adelaide

"The attraction of the book lies in its geographical scope and the reader is treated to well illustrated examples from the Near East, North and Meso America, and South East Asia, drawing upon the author's research experience. His enthusiasm for his subject is conveyed in a lucid and lively text and in his catholic interests." Scottish Geographical Review

From the Back Cover

In its first edition, The Holocene provided undergraduates with a much-needed coherent scientific account of the great transformation of nature that had taken place during the Holocene, the last 10,000 years in the history of the planet and the period in which we are all now living. This period has included major shifts in climate and human culture, and in the natural environment at every level.

Completely revised and updated to take full account of the most recent advances, the new edition of this established text includes substantial material on scientific progress in the understanding of climate change and abrupt climatic events, of disturbance effects on the landscape, and of ice core records. Not only have improved dating methods, such as luminescence, been included but the timescale for the book has been moved to calendar (i.e. real) years. Coverage and supporting case study material have also been broadened and extended.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 2 edition (July 7, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631186379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631186373
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,887,039 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Most advances in human understanding currently come from a conjunction of specialisms: archaeology uses nuclear physics. This textbook is built on clear accounts of the joints between geology and palaeontology, human anthropology and global climate change - and much more. But it is more than that. Roberts has crafted a textbook to be used by any entrant to the field. He is lucid. He offers logical cause and effect yet is clear about contradiction. Anyone interested in the era will enjoy the contributions from many disciplines integrated in an enthusiastic whole. If you are interested, go for it.
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I am by no means an expert on climatology or paleoclimatology. An actuary by trade, I enjoy reading books about evolution and prehistory. When I saw this book, I figured it would be good for a type of background reading to help me more fully understand what went on during the Holocene and how it affected humans.
While it did not really make that connection, I did find it pretty interesting. He explains the different techniques of dating and why you would use them. It is facinating that the experts can determine so much information about the local environment over, say, a meter long core sample from the bottom of a lake. It didn't get too technical until the last chapter where he was discussing the impact of pollution on the environment.
The last chapter sums up nicely the major developments of the last 11,000 years and also discusses why viewing nature as a static entity is not the proper way for conservationalists to look at it. All and all a good read for those interested in weather and the transformation of the earth.
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This is a textbook but it is well written. For anyone interested in the subject this would be a good place to start.
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As an undergraduate student at prescott College, I conducted an independent study in Quaternary Ecology in general and of the American Southwest in particular. I came across this book while browsing the shelves at another college library. I was looking for a few texts to give me a good basic background on paleoecology, and after scanning this one, requested that our school library purchase it. When it arrived, I was informed, and I immediately appropriated it for my exclusive use. This book, together with Delcourt's and Delcourt's book, Quaternary Ecology: a paleoecological perspective would make a good text for a college environmental studies course. That is how I used it. Now I want to own a copy.
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very pleased with the book - excellent condition, basically new. but it took a really long time to get here.
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