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Exploring Environmental History: Selected Essays

By: TC Smout

256 pages, Figs, b/w photos

Edinburgh University Press

Paperback | Aug 2011 | #192439 | ISBN-13: 9780748645619
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £19.99 $25/€24 approx
Hardback | May 2009 | #178121 | ISBN-13: 9780748635139
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £75.00 $96/€90 approx

About this book

What is environmental history and how has it been studied in Britain? How have we regarded wild nature in the past? How has our exploitation of environmental resources impacted on biodiversity? How could so many people subsist in the past in the wildest parts of the British Isles? Why are we so upset about alien species? T.C Smout tackles all of these questions as well as considering the meaning of 'environmental consciousness' and asking what changes in our mindset it will take to avert disaster.

That the book should end with provoking thought in its readers cannot be anything but good and reinforces our sense of gratitude that these essays should exist and that the publishers should bring them all together. -- Ian Simmons, Emeritus Professor, University of Durham Environment and History The modest title of this book gives little idea of the excitements that lie within... This is a memorable book, rich in scholarship and full of argument, and elegantly written... the brilliance of the essays must make 'Exploring Environmental History' a thoroughly worthwhile purchase or gift. -- Paul Ramsey Recorder News Christopher Smout is, in my opinion, the best environmental historian in Britain; indeed, he practically invented the term. He is worth being read by every conservationist, not just for his specialist knowledge, but also because he is extremely readable. It ought to be a commonplace view that, as he asserts, environmental problems can be understood properly only from a historical perspective. -- Peter Marren British Wildlife Exploring Environmental History is a collection of essays and papers which distil the professor's latter-day researches and reflections. They are characteristically acute and uncompromising. -- Roger Hutchinson Scottish Review of Books In the growing debate over future environmental choices, these essays constitute a powerful corrective to the extremes on both sides. -- Richard Oram, University of Stirling Scottish Historical Review Good, scholarly and accessible environmental history like this does carry with it empowerment, vision and the very necessary context (that Nature, like us, has a history) that can only benefit those charged in society and politics with planning our future. I will certainly be encouraging my undergraduate and postgraduate environmental history students to dip into this book: they are after all (whether they welcome it or not!) the next environmental generation. -- Rod Lambert Landscape History That the book should end with provoking thought in its readers cannot be anything but good and reinforces our sense of gratitude that these essays should exist and that the publishers should bring them all together. The modest title of this book gives little idea of the excitements that lie within... This is a memorable book, rich in scholarship and full of argument, and elegantly written... the brilliance of the essays must make 'Exploring Environmental History' a thoroughly worthwhile purchase or gift. Christopher Smout is, in my opinion, the best environmental historian in Britain; indeed, he practically invented the term. He is worth being read by every conservationist, not just for his specialist knowledge, but also because he is extremely readable. It ought to be a commonplace view that, as he asserts, environmental problems can be understood properly only from a historical perspective. Exploring Environmental History is a collection of essays and papers which distil the professor's latter-day researches and reflections. They are characteristically acute and uncompromising. In the growing debate over future environmental choices, these essays constitute a powerful corrective to the extremes on both sides. Good, scholarly and accessible environmental history like this does carry with it empowerment, vision and the very necessary context (that Nature, like us, has a history) that can only benefit those charged in society and politics with planning our future. I will certainly be encouraging my undergraduate and postgraduate environmental history students to dip into this book: they are after all (whether they welcome it or not!) the next environmental generation.


Contents

Acknowledgements; List of Maps, Figures and Tables; List of Illustrations; Introduction; Chapter One: The Environmental Historiography of Britain; Chapter Two: The Highlands and the Roots of Green Consciousness; Chapter Three: Exploiting Scottish Semi-natural Woods, 1600-1990; Chapter Four: The Pinewoods and Human Use, 1600-1900; Chapter Five: The Atlantic Oakwoods as a Commercial Crop in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries; Chapter Six: Bogs and People in Scotland since 1600; Chapter Seven: Energy Rich, Energy Poor: Scotland, Ireland and Iceland, 1600-1800; Chapter Eight: Improvers and the Scottish Environment: Soils, Bogs and Woods; Chapter Nine: Trees as Historic Landscapes: from Wallace's Oak to Reforesting Scotland; Chapter Ten: The Alien Species in Twentieth-Century Britain: Inventing a New Vermin; Chapter Eleven: Modern Agriculture and the Decline of British Biodiversity; Chapter Twelve: History, Nature and Culture in British Nature Conservation; Chapter Thirteen: Environmental Consciousness; Select Bibliography.

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Biography

T.C. Smout is Historiographer Royal in Scotland.

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