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In this classic work of environmental history, first published in 1864, polymath scholar and diplomat George Perkins Marsh challenged the belief that human impact on nature was generally benign or negligible. He suggested that ancient civilizations of the Mediterranean had brought about their own collapse by their abuse of the environment. He warned the young American republic that it might repeat these errors if it continued with its destructive waste of natural resources, and inspired conservation and reform.
David Lowenthal introduces this edition by placing it in the context of recent research and evaluates its significance for the environmental movement of the late twentieth century.
'It is no exaggeration to say that Man and Nature launched the modern conservation movement.' from the Foreword by William Cronon.
[Man and Nature was] the rudest kick in the face that American initiative, optimism, and carelessness had yet received.--Wallace Stegner "It is no exaggeration to say that Man and Nature launched the modern conservation movement. It helped Americans in the second half of the nineteenth century recognize the damage they were doing to the natural environment, and challenged them to behave in more responsible ways toward the earth and its natural systems... Man and Nature stands right next to Silent Spring and A Sand County Almanac by any measure of historic significance."--from the Foreword by William Cronon