A global, thematic, and multi-disciplinary history of the planet, from its earliest origins to its current condition. Avoiding conventional narratives and using the latest research in a diverse range of fields, Penna brings harmony to human history and ecology and provides a fresh, much-needed narrative of world history.
This book provides a comprehensive, global look at the history of the earth from the Paleolithic to the present era. It uses a multi-disciplinary approach, drawing on the most recent research in geology, climatology, evolutionary biology, archeology, anthropology, history, demography and the social and physical sciences. Each chapter expands on a single theme, including human evolution, the invention of agriculture and its global impact, population growth, urbanization, manufacturing, consumption, industrialization, and energy use.
Chapter 1 - Evolving Earth.
Chapter 2 - Evolving Humanity.
Chapter 3 - Foraging, Cultivating and Food Production.
Chapter 4 - Populating the Earth: Migration, Microbes and Nutrition.
Chapter 5 - The Making of an Urban World.
Chapter 6 - Mining, Making and Manufacturing.
Chapter 7 - Industrial Work.
Chapter 8 - Trade and Consumption.
Chapter 9 - Fossil Fuels, Wind, Water, Nuclear and Solar Energy.
Chapter 10 - A Warming Climate.
Anthony N. Penna has taught at Carnegie-Mellon University and Northeastern University, where he has been teaching North American and Global Environmental history courses since 1990. He is the author of Nature's Bounty: Historical and Modern Environmental Perspectives (1999), a text on the impact of humans on forests, wildlife and wildlife habitat, and water and air quality in the continental United States since European exploration; and he is co-editor of the forthcoming Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings (2009).
"The Human Footprint adds to the growing literature combining environmental with world history, both of which are relatively recent and vibrant subfields of history [...] His topical approach does result in an interesting, readable, and accessible set of histories that addresses issues of concern not just to world and environmental historian, but to geologists and evolutionary biologists as well, making it quite suitable for use in a range of college and university courses."
- Technology and Culture, 1 January 2011
"I highly recommend this book as one that would work extremely well in an environmental history offering or as a supplementary work in any World survey."
- World History Association, 1 October 2010