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Now in a concise edition expressly for students and general readers, this widely hailed classic traces the transformation of the tropics in modern times. Exploring the central role of the United States in the ongoing devastation of tropical lands, Richard Tucker highlights the unrelenting pressure caused by the demands of U.S. consumerism. The forced domestication of widely varied natural systems ultimately led to a devastating decline in biodiversity. The author brings his analysis to life with a series of vivid case studies of sugar, bananas, coffee, rubber, beef, and timber – each a virtual empire in itself. All readers who are interested in environmental degradation and its links to the world economy will be enlightened by this deeply knowledgeable history.
Praise for the first edition:
"I, and many other environmental scientists, will find it an invaluable source [...] Too few [Americans] realize the enormous impacts citizens of the USA have because of their consumption of mundane items ranging from bananas and coffee to hamburgers, magazines and trophy homes. Richard Tucker's monumental book could help cure that ignorance [...]"
– Paul Ehrlich, Environmental Conservation
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