History and the Environment
Environmental History as a distinct discipline is now over a generation old, with a large and diverse group of practitioners around the globe. This book provides a reflection on the achievements, diversity, and direction of environmental history in its varied national, international and continental contexts.
Environmental History is one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding new areas of historical study, and draws upon a wide range of disciplines for its insights and themes. Nature's End provides fifteen essays from historians, geographers, anthropologists and natural scientists on key themes and methods in the field, that address both those new to environmental history and seasoned practitioners. These studies illustrate the diversity of approaches to historic relationships between humans and their environments, but throughout the book connect these to core narratives in more traditional history: the role of the state and institutions, the importance of intellectual fashions and politics, and the role of the sciences and history itself, as well as the importance of ecology, and thinking about conservation, risk and human destiny.
Notes on Contributors Preface Introduction; S.Sorlin R.Grove B.Adams The Field of Action: Agriculture and the Defining of the Environment in Pre-Industrial Europe; P.Warde The Global Warming That Did Not Happen: Historicizing Glaciology and Climate Change; S.Sorlin Genealogies of the Ecological Moment: Planning, Complexity and the Emergence of 'the Environment' as Politics in West Germany, 1949-1982; H.Nehring PART II: HISTORY AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES The Environmental History of Mountain Regions; R.Dodgshon Interdisciplinary Conversations: the Collective Model; A.Davies New Science for Sustainability in an Ancient Land; L.Robin PART III: MAKING SPACE: ENVIRONMENTS AND THEIR CONTEXTS Fifty-four, Forty, or Fight? Writing within and across Boundaries in North American Environmental History; M.Evenden T.Cooper Why Intensity? Reflections on Long-Term Changes to Chinese Farming and the Institutional Steering of Modifications to the Environment; M.Elvin 'The pernicious calamities that occasion...hunger': Climate Variability and Social Vulnerability in Colonial Mexico; G.Endfield PART IV: 'THINGS HUMAN' Destiny and Decision: Taking the Lifeworld Seriously in Environmental History; K.Hastrup Afterword; P.Burke Index