Mining California

Author: Andrew C. Isenberg
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 9780374707200
Format: PDF
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An environmental History of California during the Gold Rush Between 1849 and 1874 almost $1 billion in gold was mined in California. With little available capital or labor, here's how: high-pressure water cannons washed hillsides into sluices that used mercury to trap gold but let the soil wash away; eventually more than three times the amount of earth moved to make way for the Panama Canal entered California's rivers, leaving behind twenty tons of mercury every mile—rivers overflowed their banks and valleys were flooded, the land poisoned. In the rush to wealth, the same chain of foreseeable consequences reduced California's forests and grasslands. Not since William Cronon's Nature's Metropolis has a historian so skillfully applied John Muir's insight—"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe"—to the telling of the history of the American West. Beautifully told, this is western environmental history at its finest.

The Destruction of the Bison

Author: Andrew C. Isenberg
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521003483
Format: PDF, ePub
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This study examines the cultural and ecological causes of the near-extinction of the bison.

The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History

Author: Andrew C. Isenberg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190673486
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Wyatt Earp A Vigilante Life

Author: Andrew C. Isenberg
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 1429945478
Format: PDF
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Finalist for the 2014 Weber-Clements Book Prize for the Best Non-fiction Book on Southwestern America In popular culture, Wyatt Earp is the hero of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona, and a beacon of rough cowboy justice in the tumultuous American West. The subject of dozens of films, he has been invoked in battles against organized crime (in the 1930s), communism (in the 1950s), and al-Qaeda (after 2001). Yet as the historian Andrew C. Isenberg reveals in Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life, the Hollywood Earp is largely a fiction—one created by none other than Earp himself. The lawman played on-screen by Henry Fonda and Burt Lancaster is stubbornly duty-bound; in actuality, Earp led a life of impulsive lawbreaking and shifting identities. When he wasn't wearing a badge, he was variously a thief, a brothel bouncer, a gambler, and a confidence man. As Isenberg writes, "He donned and shucked off roles readily, whipsawing between lawman and lawbreaker, and pursued his changing ambitions recklessly, with little thought to the cost to himself, and still less thought to the cost, even the deadly cost, to others." By 1900, Earp's misdeeds had caught up with him: his involvement as a referee in a fixed heavyweight prizefight brought him national notoriety as a scoundrel. Stung by the press, Earp set out to rebuild his reputation. He spent his last decades in Los Angeles, where he befriended Western silent film actors and directors. Having tried and failed over the course of his life to invent a better future for himself, in the end he invented a better past. Isenberg argues that even though Earp, who died in 1929, did not live to see it, Hollywood's embrace of him as a paragon of law and order was his greatest confidence game of all. A searching account of the man and his enduring legend, and a book about our national fascination with extrajudicial violence, Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life is a resounding biography of a singular American figure.

Mining North America

Author: John R. McNeill
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520966538
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Over the past five hundred years, North Americans have increasingly relied on mining to produce much of their material and cultural life. From cell phones and computers to cars, roads, pipes, pans, and even wall tile, mineral-intensive products have become central to North American societies. As this process has unfolded, mining has also indelibly shaped the natural world and the human societies within it. Mountains have been honeycombed, rivers poisoned, forests leveled, and the consequences of these environmental transformations have fallen unevenly across North America. Drawing on the work of scholars from Mexico, the United States, and Canada, Mining North America examines these developments. It covers an array of minerals and geographies while bringing mining into the core debates that animate North American environmental history. Taken all together, the essays in this book make a powerful case for the centrality of mining in forging North American environments and societies.

Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire

Author: Corey Ross
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0191091979
Format: PDF, ePub
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Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire provides the first wide-ranging environmental history of the heyday of European imperialism, from the late nineteenth century to the end of the colonial era. It focuses on the ecological dimensions of the explosive growth of tropical commodity production, global trade, and modern resource management-transformations that still visibly shape our world today-and how they were related to broader social, cultural, and political developments in Europe's colonies. Covering the overseas empires of all the major European powers, Corey Ross argues that tropical environments were not merely a stage on which conquest and subjugation took place, but were an essential part of the colonial project, profoundly shaping the imperial enterprise even as they were shaped by it. The story he tells is not only about the complexities of human experience, but also about people's relationship with the ecosystems in which they were themselves embedded: the soil, water, plants, and animals that were likewise a part of Europe's empire. Although it shows that imperial conquest rarely represented a sudden bout of ecological devastation, it nonetheless demonstrates that modern imperialism marked a decisive and largely negative milestone for the natural environment. By relating the expansion of modern empire, global trade, and mass consumption to the momentous ecological shifts that they entailed, this book provides a historical perspective on the vital nexus of social, political, and environmental issues that we face in the twenty-first-century world.

The Nature of Cities

Author: Andrew Christian Isenberg
Publisher: Boydell & Brewer
ISBN: 9781580462204
Format: PDF, ePub
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Essays that investigate issues of race, class, consumption, and the body in an array of urban places, across a broad period from the late Renaissance to the present.

Crabgrass Crucible

Author: Christopher C. Sellers
Publisher: Univ of North Carolina Press
ISBN: 0807869902
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Although suburb-building created major environmental problems, Christopher Sellers demonstrates that the environmental movement originated within suburbs--not just in response to unchecked urban sprawl. Drawn to the countryside as early as the late nineteenth century, new suburbanites turned to taming the wildness of their surroundings. They cultivated a fondness for the natural world around them, and in the decades that followed, they became sensitized to potential threats. Sellers shows how the philosophy, science, and emotions that catalyzed the environmental movement sprang directly from suburbanites' lives and their ideas about nature, as well as the unique ecology of the neighborhoods in which they dwelt. Sellers focuses on the spreading edges of New York and Los Angeles over the middle of the twentieth century to create an intimate portrait of what it was like to live amid suburban nature. As suburbanites learned about their land, became aware of pollution, and saw the forests shrinking around them, the vulnerability of both their bodies and their homes became apparent. Worries crossed lines of class and race and necessitated new ways of thinking and acting, Sellers argues, concluding that suburb-dwellers, through the knowledge and politics they forged, deserve much of the credit for inventing modern environmentalism.

Environmental Issues in American History

Author: Chris J. Magoc
Publisher: Greenwood Publishing Group
ISBN: 9780313322082
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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Uses textual analysis, primary source documents, and an issues-centered approach to introduce American environmental history,