The field of environmental history emerged just decades ago but has established itself as one of the most innovative and important new approaches to history, one that bridges the human and natural world, the humanities and the sciences. With the current trend towards internationalizing history, environmental history is perhaps the quintessential approach to studying subjects outside the nation-state model, with pollution, global warming, and other issues affecting the earth not stopping at national borders. With 25 essays, this Handbook is global in scope and innovative in organization, looking at the field thematically through such categories as climate, disease, oceans, the body, energy, consumerism, and international relations.
"Its an enormously valuable teaching and research resource for the practitioner of environmental history [...] It will also be an asset for those coming to the field of environmental history."
– Professor Peter Coates, Reviews in History
"The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History is a job well done [...] Andrew C. Isenberg and Oxford University Press are due credit for collecting an impressive group of authors to tackle a variety of issues pertinent to environmental history [...] The authors tasked to write these essays are equally impressive and diverse."
– Martin V. Melosi, American Historical Review
"this collection has the potential to become an exceptionally influential contribution to the literature. New scholars in the field [...] would do well to read it to get a sense of the pulse of the field, and a sense of where, should these scholars have their way, the field might go in the next decade or so."
– Ted Binnema, Environmental History
Introduction: A New Environmental History, Andrew C. Isenberg
Part I: Dynamic Environments and Cultures
1. Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History, Mark Carey
2. Animals and the Intimacy of History, Brett L. Walker
3. Beyond Virgin Soils: Disease as Environmental History, Linda Nash
4. Deserts, Diana K. Davis
5. Seas of Grass: Grasslands in World Environmental History, Andrew C. Isenberg
6. New Patterns in Old Places: Forest History for the Global Present, Emily Brock
7. The Tropics: A Brief History of an Environmental Imaginary, Paul S. Sutter
Part II: Knowing Nature
8. And All Was Light? Science and Environmental History, Michael Lewis
9. Toward an Environmental History of Technology, Sara B. Pritchard
10. New Chemical Bodies: Synthetic Chemicals, Regulation, and Human Health, Nancy Langston
11. Rethinking American Exceptionalism: Toward a Trans-National History of Parks, Wilderness, and Protected Areas, James Morton Turner
12. Restoration and the Search for Counter-Narratives, Marcus Hall
13. Region, Scenery, and Power: Cultural Landscapes in Environmental History, Thomas Lekan and Thomas Zeller
Part III: Working and Owning
14. A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians, Steven Stoll
15. Owning Nature: Towards an Environmental History of Private Property, Louis Warren
16. Work, Nature, and History: A Single Question, that Once Moved Like Light, Thomas G. Andrews
17. The Nature of Desire: Consumption in Environmental History, Matthew Klingle
18. Law and the Environment, Kathleen Brosnan
19. Confluences of Nature and Culture: Cities in Environmental History, Lawrence Culver
Part IV: Entangling Alliances
20. Race and Ethnicity in Environmental History, Connie Y. Chiang
21. Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History, Nancy C. Unger
22. Conquest to Convalescence: Nature and Nation in United States History, William Deverell
23. Boundless Nature: Borders and the Environment in North America and Beyond, Andrew R. Graybill
24. Crossing Boundaries: The Environment in International Relations, Kurk Dorsey
25. The Politics of Nature, Frank Zelko
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Andrew C. Isenberg is Professor of History at Temple University. He is the author of The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920, Mining California: An Ecological History, and Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, and the editor of The Nature of Cities: Culture, Landscape, and Urban Space.