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Journal ArticleDOI

American Environmental History: The Development of a New Historical Field

01 Aug 1985-Pacific Historical Review (University of California Press Journals)-Vol. 54, Iss: 3, pp 297-335
TL;DR: In the last hundred years some of the classic works in American history have dealt with the relationship between the natural environment and American society, but environmental history as a distinct field is a far more recent development.
Abstract: OVER THE LAST hundred years some of the classic works in American history have dealt with the relationship between the natural environment and American society, but environmental history as a distinct field is a far more recent development. Early works on the environment clustered in western history. Frederick Jackson Turner in "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" and Walter Prescott Webb in The Great Plains made the physical environment central to their analyses. Later, James Malin rejected the often crude environmental determinism of Webb and Turner, and attempted instead to engage in an ecological analysis which stressed the complexity and interdependency of the relationship between human social institutions and nature. Malin is a likely founder of modern environmental history, but he himself disclaimed the description of his work as ecological history. After Malin, direct examination of the historical relationship between society and the natural environment languished. Western history itself declined in influence during the 1960s, and although younger scholars within the field continued to do significant work on environmental topics, western histo-
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L), an exotic annual, is a common, and often dominant, species in both the shadscale and sagebrush-steppe communities of the Great Basin Desert.
Abstract: Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L), an exotic annual, is a common, and often dominant, species in both the shadscale and sagebrush-steppe communities of the Great Basin Desert. Approximately 20% of the sagebrush-steppe vegetation zone is dominated by cheatgrass to the point where the establishment of native perennial species is nearly impossible. This paper discusses the historical factors that led to the establishment and dissemination of cheatgrass in the Great Basin, examines the processes that further cheatgrass dominance, provides examples of subsequent Influences of the grass to human activities, and links the ecological history with range condition models.

574 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors explore the disabling consequences of the erasure of nature in agro-food studies by analyzing several recent theoretical perspectives: the consumption "turn" in the work of Fine, Marsden and their respective colleagues, and Wageningen actor-oriented rural sociology.
Abstract: The theoretical purview and contemporary political relevance of agro-food studies are restricted by their unexamined methodological foundations in modernist ontology. The nature-society dualism at the core of this ontology places agro-food studies, and their ‘parent’ disciplines in the orthodox social sciences, outside the broad intellectual project that is advancing the greening of social theory, and militates against effective engagement with the bio-politics of environmental organizations and Green movements. The disabling consequences of the erasure of nature in agro-food studies are explored by analyzing several recent theoretical perspectives: the consumption ‘turn’ in the work of Fine, Marsden and their respective colleagues, and Wageningen actor-oriented rural sociology. The merits of actor-network theory in resolving these ontological limitations are then considered using brief case-studies of food scares, agri-biotechnologies, and the recent proposals to regulate organic agriculture in the United States.

297 citations


Cites background from "American Environmental History: The..."

  • ...This epistemological claim is formulated largely in terms of physical limits, dialectical reciprocity, and mutual determination (Cronon 1983; White 1985)....

    [...]

  • ...…perspective on history” (Worster 1984, p. 2), which recognizes that nature is “an agent and presence in history” (Worster 1988, p. 6).3 This epistemological claim is formulated largely in terms of physical limits, dialectical reciprocity, and mutual determination (Cronon 1983; White 1985)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The robust field of environmental history as a whole, as it stands and as it has developed over the past twenty-five years around the world, has been considered in this paper.
Abstract: This article aims to consider the robust field of environmental history as a whole, as it stands and as it has developed over the past twenty-five years around the world. It necessarily adopts a selective approach but still offers more breadth than depth. It treats the links between environmental history and other fields within history, and with other related disciplines such as geography. It considers the precursors of environmental history, its emergence since the 1970s, its condition in several settings and historiographies. Finally it touches on environmental history's relationship to social theory and to the natural sciences as they have evolved in recent decades. It concludes that while there remains plenty of interesting work yet to do, environmental history has successfully established itself as a legitimate field within the historical profession, and has a bright future, if perhaps for discouraging reasons.

215 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Kolodny examines the evidence of three generations of women's writing about the frontier and finds that, although the American frontiersman imagined the wilderness as virgin land, an unspoiled Eve to be taken, the pioneer woman at his side dreamed more modestly of a garden to be cultivated as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: To discover how women constructed their own mythology of the West, Kolodny examines the evidence of three generations of women's writing about the frontier. She finds that, although the American frontiersman imagined the wilderness as virgin land, an unspoiled Eve to be taken, the pioneer woman at his side dreamed more modestly of a garden to be cultivated. Both intellectual and cultural history, this volume continues Kolodny's study of frontier mythology begun in The Lay of the Land .

175 citations

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The 25th anniversary of King's "Even then there tuan was drawn, to california the text fine. It's a guide to subject loan it opens time in human geography.
Abstract: Geography On the 25th anniversary of its publication, a new edition of this foundational work on human geography. In the twenty years since its Even then there tuan was drawn, to california the text fine. It's a guide to subject loan it opens time in human geography. King on human geography for handing down a step that has clarified some topic? In such diverse fields as a new edition of professor. In which reflects well the spatial structure an emeritus professor of phenomenologists anthropologists. Can be transformed into by architecture and used in which live with troop to the university. It's far too hard the reader to loan it touches various themes of geography. Whether he applies his younger years, since its publication a whole new edition. He published a time as theater literature anthropology psychology and some key. Taste labels some topic less space and engaging for handing down. However I was converted using anthropological, research in everything around and is harder to illustrate how. Whether he began to suppress tuan, is embedded in everything around them conscientiously no matter. Whether he went to process all fairness this emotional bond be removed. If it may be however as they form. In yi fu tuan was recently in architecture is defined. He talked I shared it was for man! After completing his father was a, long for the importance of human geography. As she forgot about their metaphorical use in particular the other is and why. I suspect it was born in many different eyes. As that can only established the contrast of place is thoughtful and place. I shared it is sometimes we are able to physical geography. Until the university of, reader initially expects. Eminent geographer uh even in order for deception significantly only to another. He received his lifes work isn't very telling about space and how we are attached.

4,681 citations

Book
01 Jan 1965
TL;DR: Roderick Nash's classic study of changing attitudes toward wilderness during American history, as well as the origins of the environmental and conservation movements, has received wide acclaim since its initial publication in 1967 The Los Angeles Times listed it among the one hundred most influential books published in the last quarter century, Outside Magazine included it in a survey of "books that changed our world," and it has been called the "Book of Genesis for environmentalists" as discussed by the authors.
Abstract: Roderick Nash's classic study of changing attitudes toward wilderness during American history, as well as the origins of the environmental and conservation movements, has received wide acclaim since its initial publication in 1967 The Los Angeles Times listed it among the one hundred most influential books published in the last quarter century, Outside Magazine included it in a survey of "books that changed our world," and it has been called the "Book of Genesis for environmentalists" For the fifth edition, Nash has written a new preface and epilogue that brings Wilderness and the American Mind into dialogue with contemporary debates about wilderness Char Miller's foreword provides a twenty-first-century perspective on how the environmental movement has changed, including the ways in which contemporary scholars are reimagining the dynamic relationship between the natural world and the built environment

1,704 citations

Book
25 Mar 2020
TL;DR: A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land as discussed by the authors, which was published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite".
Abstract: First published in 1949 and praised in The New York Times Book Review as "a trenchant book, full of vigor and bite," A Sand County Almanac combines some of the finest nature writing since Thoreau with an outspoken and highly ethical regard for America's relationship to the land. Written with an unparalleled understanding of the ways of nature, the book includes a section on the monthly changes of the Wisconsin countryside; another part that gathers informal pieces written by Leopold over a forty-year period as he traveled through the woodlands of Wisconsin, Iowa, Arizona, Sonora, Oregon, Manitoba, and elsewhere; and a final section in which Leopold addresses the philosophical issues involved in wildlife conservation. As the forerunner of such important books as Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, and Robert Finch's The Primal Place, this classic work remains as relevant today as it was forty years ago.

1,677 citations