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Economic growth since the Industrial Revolution has been achieved at great cost both to the natural environment and to the autonomy of communities. What can a Marxist perspective contribute to understanding this disturbing legacy, and mitigating its impact on future generations? Social theorist James O'Connor demonstrates how the policies and imperatives of business and government influence--and are influenced by--environment and social change. Probing the relationship between economy, nature and society, O'Connor argues that environmental and social crises pose a growing threat to capitalism itself. These essays demonstrate the power of ecological Marxist analysis for understanding our diverse environment and social history, for grounding economic behaviour in the real world, and for formulating and evaluating new political strategies.