Mexico is one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, with landscapes that range from rainforests to deserts and from small villages to the continent's largest metropolis. Yet historians are only beginning to understand how people's use of the land, extraction of its resources, and attempts to conserve it have shaped both the landscape and its inhabitants.
A Land Between Waters explores the relationship between the people and the environment in Mexico. It heralds the arrival of environmental history as a major area of study within the field of Mexican history. A Land Between Waters brings together a dozen original works of environmental history by some of the foremost experts in Mexican environmental history from both the United States and Mexico.
The contributions collected in this seminal volume explore a wide array of topics, from the era of independence to the present day. Together they examine how humans have used, abused, and attended to nature in Mexico over more than two hundred years. Written in clear, accessible prose, A Land Between Waters showcases the breadth of Mexican environmental history in a way that defines the key topics in the field and suggests avenues for subsequent work. Most importantly, it assesses the impacts of environmental changes that Mexico has faced in the past with an eye to informing national debates about the challenges that the nation will face in the future.
Christopher R. Boyer is an associate professor of history and Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is the author of Becoming Campesinos: Politics, Identity, and Agrarian Struggle in Postrevolutionary Michoacán, 1920–1935 and Political Landscapes: Forests, Conservation, and Community in Mexico.
"A diverse collection of case studies on human-environment interactions in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Mexico that should be of broad interest to environmental historians, historical geographers, and specialists on Mexico alike."
– Journal of Historical Geography
"This is a landmark study [...] This will set a standard for studies in Mexican environmental history and serve as a point of departure for further studies."
– Evan Ward, author of Border Oasis: Water and the Political Ecology of the Colorado River Delta, 1940-1975