- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 29, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0199930961
- ISBN-13: 978-0199930968
- Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.7 x 6.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#1,338,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #355 in Books > Engineering & Transportation > Engineering > Civil & Environmental > Environmental > Pollution
- #1239 in Books > Politics & Social Sciences > Politics & Government > Public Affairs & Policy > Environmental Policy
- #1707 in Books > Textbooks > Science & Mathematics > Environmental Studies
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
In this startling, intense, and brilliantly elucidated volume, Ross and Amter present a concise history of the American chemical industry. With examples both infamous (Love Canal) and long forgotten (Donora, Pennsylvania), the authors expose the historically close relationship between the industry and government regulators, making it sharply relevant to the present-day disasters of the BP oil spill and the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion. And there is little comfort found in the evidence of backroom deal making, determined neglect, and willful ignorance of solid research. The authors recount the stunning impact of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring when it was released in 1962 in a country still enthralled by the chemical industry’s control of science. Can anything be more startling than Henry du Pont’s assertion here that it was modern technology and not government which ended slavery and child labor? The sheer arrogance on display boggles the mind and makes this thoroughly researched and refreshingly nonpartisan work an unlikely page-turner. All it lacks is a happy ending, but hopefully the tide is finally turning on that score. --Colleen Mondor --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
"The engrossing, infuriating history of American pollution... An important, disheartening account of widespread willful ignorance."--Kirkus Reviews
"Startling, intense, and brilliantly elucidated... sharply relevant to the present-day disasters of the BP oil spill and the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion... an unlikely page-turner."--Booklist
"The Polluters documents how the strategies used by today's polluters to duck regulation of their toxic chemicals were pioneered by polluters who poisoned the American landscape and killed hundreds of Americans in the early twentieth century. For nearly one-hundred years, corporate polluters have subverted democracy and corrupted public officials to control government regulation of toxic chemicals maximizing profits at the expense of public health."--Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
"The Polluters is a readable, comprehensive and authoritative study of the history of pollution. No matter how much you think you know about this issue, you'll learn something from this book--and you'll be outraged as well as informed."--David Kusnet, Chief Speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, 1992-1994
"The Polluters is a fascinating account of how the polluters in this country got away with murder for decades. This book puts a name and face on the many polluters who knew for years the damage they were doing to the public's health and to the environment and unveils their efforts to cover up the effects of this pollution; a must for any activist who wants to understand the strategies these polluters used to continue business as usual."--Lois Gibbs, Executive Director, Center for Health, Environment & Justice
"The Polluters details how the chemical industry in the 20th century erected political and scientific barriers to government oversight by failing to test the toxicity of their compounds or, worse, keeping secret damning data about health risks of widely used and profitable chemicals."--Lyndsey Layton, Washington Post
"Ross and Amter are certainly not friends of the chemical companies, but they deserve credit for also being able to see things from the industry's standpoint... by taking us back to the period before the great environmental awakening, the book provides an invaluable historical perspective. There's no doubt from this saga that we still need strong government regulation: 100 years of experience shows that companies cannot be trusted to regulate themselves."--Chris Mooney, The American Prospect
"A remarkably timely, extensively researched, and accessible book offering a fresh
perspective . . . This is little-known history that makes for fascinating reading."--The Washington Post
"Frustration. That is the best way to describe the experience of reading The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment. Page after page reveals the history of industries spewing toxins into our air, water, and soil and a government more apt to look the other way. Presenting the conflict through the lens of individual action and human cost, authors Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter provide an engaging and unsettling account of U.S. pollution."--BluePlanetGreenLiving.com
"The Polluters is a commendable effort to present the history of industrial
environmental harm with candor and clarity in a readable, anecdotal form."--Chemical & Engineering News
"Keep moving if you're looking for a happy ending . . . But if you seek a knowing, readable chronicle of humanity's struggle to rein in its own mess-making, these 223 meticulously footnoted pages are, well, the bomb." --Lancaster Sunday News
"To write a history of industrial pollution, with a few shining exceptions, is largely to document its denial by both industry and government. That just the history Benjamin Ross and Steven Amter have given us in The Polluters, an amply footnoted but briskly readable new book published by Oxford University Press." --Dakota Resource Council
"[A] spellbinding and detailed compendium of corporate deceit and defiance that will leave readers fuming at the towering gall of the Polluting Class . . . The Polluters is brimful with decades of tales that will have readers grinding their teeth in indignation and frustration."
--Berkeley Daily Planet
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
The Polluters is mostly a history of political, legislative, social, economic, and industrial twangs and their respective powers within the forces of pollution. Much of the reading will seem dry and irrelevant to contemporary challenges that fuel enormous contentions in every aspect of humanity's survival and prosperity.
World War I brought with it larger manufacturing plants and new potent synthetic chemicals that evolved into effluents of great volumes and diversities. They became tied to industry leaders such as DuPont and Dow. Their engineers and scientists were preparing to combat the public health consequences of leaded gasoline, DDT, black lung, air and water pollution, bronchitis, silicosis, pneumonia, asthma, typhus, asbestosis, tuberculosis, STDs, bladder and lung cancers,...
Fumigants are a fairly recent entrant into the race for pest controls having been widely used as growers experienced increased crop yields since mid-20th century. A major side effect was ground water contamination. A defensive move by the manufacturers was largely to issue warnings but on page 125 this book's author notes that "Once again, environmental protection fell by the way side as the chemical industry pursued other priorities."
Perhaps the most compelling words in this book are quotes from a scientist, Kenneth Banks, who warned of the growing concentration of industry and the development of synthetic chemicals and their threat to global fresh water supplies. Banks ended with this: "The greatest technology we can achieve will do us little good if it causes us to live on a rubbish heap."
A similar book (although different topic) is The World According to Monsanto and it does take this historical context and pull it forward to its modern impact. I wish this book would have done the same. It leaves 1980+ as an exercise to the reader.
But for what it is its must have reading for anyone interested in the politics of pollution and. More broadly how industry co-opts the regulatory process (for good and bad).
Most recent customer reviews
suppress and defeat environmental change!