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The Shock of the Anthropocene: The Earth, History, and Us

By: Christophe Bonneuil (Author), Jean-Baptiste Fressoz (Author)

Verso Books

Hardback | Jan 2016 | #227912 | ISBN-13: 9781784780791
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NHBS Price: £16.99 $21/€19 approx

About this book

Scientists tell us that the Earth has entered a new epoch: the Anthropocene. We are not facing simply an environmental crisis, but a geological revolution of human origin. In two centuries, our planet has tipped into a state unknown for millions of years. How did we get to this point? Refuting the convenient view of a "human species" that upset the Earth system unaware of what it was doing, The Shock of the Anthropocene proposes a new account of modernity that shakes up many accepted ideas: on the supposedly recent date of "environmental awareness", on previous challenges to industrialism, on the manufacture of consumerism and the energy "transition", as well as on the role of the military in environmental destruction. Through a dialogue between science and history, the authors draw an ecological balance-sheet of a developmental model that has become unsustainable, and explore paths for living and acting politically in the Anthropocene.

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Christophe Bonneuil is a historian at the CNRS and edits the Anthropocene series for Editions du Seuil. His publications include Une Autre Histoire des 'Trentes Glorieuses': Modernisation, Contestations et Pollutions dans la France d'Apres-Guerre, and Sciences, Techniques et Societe.

Jean-Baptiste Fressoz, formerly a lecturer at Imperial College, London, is now also a historian at the CNRS. He is the author of L'Apocalypse Joyeuse: Une Histoire du Risque Technologique, and Introduction a l'Histoire Environnementale.

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