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First published in 1999, Nature and the English Diaspora is a comparative history of the development of ideas about nature, particularly of the importance of native nature as a part of the culture in the Anglo settler countries of the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It examines the development of natural history in the great nineteenth-century expansion of settlement. It explores settlers' adaptations to the end of expansion and scientists' shift from natural history to ecology. Finally it analyzes the diffusion of ecology through the Anglo world and to the general population as well as the rise of environmentalism. Addressing not only scientific knowledge, but also popular issues such as hunting, common names for plants and animals, landscape painting, and nature stories, Nature and the English Diaspora explores the ways in which English-speaking settlers looked at nature in their new lands and at the place they gave it in their societies.
Part I. Making the Land Familiar:
1. Natural history and the construction of nature
2. Remaking worlds: European models in New Lands
Part II. Beyond Conquest:
3. Reaching limits, 1850–1900
4. National nature, part I
5. Changing science, 1880–1930
Part III. Finding Firm Ground:
6. Reaching limits, 1920–40
7. National nature, part II
8. An ecological perspective, 1920–50
Part IV. New Knowledge, New Action:
9. The diffusion of ecology, 1948–67
10. The new world of nature.
"Dunlap's fine book, accessible to both scholars and a popular audience, covers many other provocative issues, including early-twentieth-century conservation efforts and late-twentieth-century environmental activism."
- Suzanne Marshall, History
" [...] what the book does, it does well.Dunlap handles his subjects deftly and concisely. The result is a kind of popularization not unlike that which it celebrates. The book stands to formal historical scholarhsip as the natural history essay does to formal science. It reads like a guided nature walk through environmental history – not a bad way to learn about a new place, or a bad way to introduce the complex settlement history of four nations."
- Journal of Interdisciplinary History
" [...] very well organized and very well documented."