City, Country, Empire: Landscapes in Environmental History

Diefendorf, Jeffry, and Dorsey, Kurk, eds. | from Multimedia Library Collection:
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Diefendorf, Jeffry, and Dorsey, Kurk, eds. City, Country, Empire. Landscapes in Environmental History . Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2005.

In this book, Jeffry Diefendorf and Kurk Dorsey have gathered much of the important work pushing the field in new directions. Eleven essays by prominent and regionally diverse scholars address how human and natural forces collaborate in the creation of cities, the countryside, and empires. The Cities section features essays that examine pollution and its aftermath in Pittsburgh, the Ruhr Valley (Germany), and Los Angeles. These urban areas are far apart on the globe but closely linked in their histories of how human decision making has affected the environment. Changing rural and suburban spaces are the focus of countryside. Studies of the fractious history of the creation of a wildlife refuge in Oregon and the ongoing impact of hydraulic mining in the early California goldmining era emphasize the misuse of technology in rural spaces. Such misuse is a central idea of Empires. Some essays explore the failures of Western agricultural technology in Africa and the relationship between such technology and disease in European attempts to conquer the Caribbean. Thomas R. Dunlap observes the ongoing, unsettled interaction of lands and dreams. An afterword by Alfred W. Crosby, an eminent scholar of environmental history, closes the book with a broad and insightful synthesis of the history and future of this critical field. (Text adapted from University of Pittsburgh Press website.)

Read the book in full on the University of Pittsburgh Press Digital Editions.