The Retreat of the Elephants

Author: Mark Elvin
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300133530
Format: PDF, ePub
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This is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there are written records. It is also a treasure trove of literary, political, aesthetic, scientific, and religious sources, which allow the reader direct access to the views and feelings of the Chinese people toward their environment and their landscape. Elvin chronicles the spread of the Chinese style of farming that eliminated the habitat of the elephants that populated the country alongside much of its original wildlife; the destruction of most of the forests; the impact of war on the environmental transformation of the landscape; and the re-engineering of the countryside through water-control systems, some of gigantic size. He documents the histories of three contrasting localities within China to show how ecological dynamics defined the lives of the inhabitants. And he shows that China in the eighteenth century, on the eve of the modern era, was probably more environmentally degraded than northwestern Europe around this time. Indispensable for its new perspective on long-term Chinese history and its explanation of the roots of China’s present-day environmental crisis, this book opens a door into the Chinese past.

The Retreat of the Elephants

Author: Mark Elvin
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 9780300119930
Format: PDF, ePub
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This is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there are written records. It is also a treasure trove of literary, political, aesthetic, scientific, and religious sources, which allow the reader direct access to the views and feelings of the Chinese people toward their environment and their landscape. Elvin chronicles the spread of the Chinese style of farming that eliminated the habitat of the elephants that populated the country alongside much of its original wildlife; the destruction of most of the forests; the impact of war on the environmental transformation of the landscape; and the re-engineering of the countryside through water-control systems, some of gigantic size. He documents the histories of three contrasting localities within China to show how ecological dynamics defined the lives of the inhabitants. And he shows that China in the eighteenth century, on the eve of the modern era, was probably more environmentally degraded than northwestern Europe around this time. Indispensable for its new perspective on long-term Chinese history and its explanation of the roots of China’s present-day environmental crisis, this book opens a door into the Chinese past.

Elephants and Kings

Author: Thomas R. Trautmann
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022626453X
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Because of their enormous size, elephants have long been irresistible for kings as symbols of their eminence. In early civilizations—such as Egypt, Mesopotamia, the Indus Civilization, and China—kings used elephants for royal sacrifice, spectacular hunts, public display of live captives, or the conspicuous consumption of ivory—all of them tending toward the elephant’s extinction. The kings of India, however, as Thomas R. Trautmann shows in this study, found a use for elephants that actually helped preserve their habitat and numbers in the wild: war. Trautmann traces the history of the war elephant in India and the spread of the institution to the west—where elephants took part in some of the greatest wars of antiquity—and Southeast Asia (but not China, significantly), a history that spans 3,000 years and a considerable part of the globe, from Spain to Java. He shows that because elephants eat such massive quantities of food, it was uneconomic to raise them from birth. Rather, in a unique form of domestication, Indian kings captured wild adults and trained them, one by one, through millennia. Kings were thus compelled to protect wild elephants from hunters and elephant forests from being cut down. By taking a wide-angle view of human-elephant relations, Trautmann throws into relief the structure of India’s environmental history and the reasons for the persistence of wild elephants in its forests.

The Pattern of the Chinese Past

Author: Mark Elvin
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804708760
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A satisfactory comprehensive history of the social and economic development of pre-modern China, the largest country in the world in terms of population, and with a documentary record covering three millennia, is still far from possible. The present work is only an attempt to disengage the major themes that seem to be of relevance to our understanding of China today. In particular, this volume studies three questions. Why did the Chinese Empire stay together when the Roman Empire, and every other empire of antiquity of the middle ages, ultimately collapsed? What were the causes of the medieval revolution which made the Chinese economy after about 1100 the most advanced in the world? And why did China after about 1350 fail to maintain her earlier pace of technological advance while still, in many respects, advancing economically? The three sections of the book deal with these problems in turn but the division of a subject matter is to some extent only one of convenience. These topics are so interrelated that, in the last analysis, none of them can be considered in isolation from the others.

China

Author: Robert Marks
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 9781442212763
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This deeply informed and beautifully written book provides a comprehensive and comprehensible history of China from prehistory to the present. Focusing on the interaction of humans and their environment, Robert B. Marks traces changes in the physical and cultural world that is home to a quarter of humankind. Through both word and image, this work illuminates the chaos and paradox inherent in China's environmental narrative, demonstrating how historically sustainable practices can, in fact, be profoundly ecologically unsound. The author also reevaluates China's traditional "he.

Tigers Rice Silk and Silt

Author: Robert Marks
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139425513
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Challenging the conventional wisdom conveyed by Western environmental historians about China, this book examines the correlations between economic and environmental changes in the southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi from 1400 to 1850, but also provides substantial background from 2CE on. Robert Marks discusses the impact of population growth on land-use patterns, the agro-ecology of the region, and deforestation; the commercialization of agriculture and its implications for ecological change; the impact of climatic change on agriculture; and the ways in which the human population responded to environmental challenges. This book is a significant contribution to both Chinese and environmental history. It is groundbreaking in its methods and in its findings.

When the Elephants Dance

Author: Tess Uriza Holthe
Publisher: Crown
ISBN: 0676806732
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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“Papa explains the war like this: ‘When the elephants dance, the chickens must be careful.’ The great beasts, as they circle one another, shaking the trees and trumpeting loudly, are the Amerikanos and the Japanese as they fight. And our Philippine Islands? We are the small chickens.” Once in a great while comes a storyteller who can illuminate worlds large and small, in ways both magical and true to life. When the Elephants Dance is set in the waning days of World War II, as the Japanese and the Americans engage in a fierce battle for possession of the Philippine Islands. Through the eyes of three narrators, thirteen-year-old Alejandro Karangalan, his spirited older sister Isabelle, and Domingo, a passionate guerilla commander, we see how ordinary people find hope for survival where none seems to exist. While the Karangalan family and their neighbors huddle together for survival in the cellar of a house, they tell magical stories to one another based on Filipino myth that transport the listeners from the chaos of the war around them and give them new resolve to continue fighting. Outside the safety of their refuge the war rages on—fiery bombs torch the countryside, Japanese soldiers round up and interrogate innocent people, and from the hills guerilla fighters wage a desperate campaign against the enemy. Inside the cellar, these men, women, and children put their hopes and dreams on hold as they wait out the war. This stunning debut novel celebrates with richness and depth the spirit of the Filipino people and their fascinating story and marks the introduction of an author who will join the ranks of writers such as Arundhati Roy, Manil Suri, and Amy Tan. From the Hardcover edition.

Let the Elephants Run

Author: David Usher
Publisher: House of Anansi
ISBN: 1770898697
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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At David Usher’s company, CloudID Creativity Labs, there is a sign on the wall that reads: “Dream big, let the elephants run!” The words are a reminder for us to hold a place in our minds for creativity, where big ideas can form and our imagination can run free. Based on his wildly popular speaking engagements, Let the Elephants Run shows us how to reignite creativity whether in the head office, the home office or the artist’s studio. Usher believes creativity is in our DNA; it's in everyone, not just the creative class. We all start our lives as creative beings but for many that spark becomes lost over time. How do we jump-start our creative process as adults? What does it means to be a creative person? How do we follow through with our ideas and turn them into tangible outcomes? Usher empowers readers to achieve more “aha” moments through two cornerstone principles of creativity: freedom and structure. Using a mix of personal anecdotes and professional examples from the worlds of industry, technology, science, music and art, he shows us that creativity is not magic; it is a learnable skill that any person or business can master. The dynamic full-colour design includes photographs, artwork and illustrations, as well as action pages to help readers start cultivating the habit of documenting their ideas for future execution. Let the Elephants Run is an essential guidebook to reconnecting with our imaginations and nurturing our creativity in accessible and productive ways.

Sediments of Time

Author: Mark Elvin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521563819
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This collection of essays is the first relatively comprehensive survey of the environmental history of China.

Whistling for the Elephants

Author: Sandi Toksvig
Publisher: Time Warner Books UK
ISBN: 9780751532869
Format: PDF, Mobi
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There are two basic types of animal in Nature's Kingdom. The first, like lions and turtles, produce many offspring and simply hope that some will survive. The second, like elephants and people, produce one or two at long intervals and make great efforts to rear them. My mother belonged in a class of her own. She produced two at short intervals and made no effort to rear them whatsoever. Thus Dorothy, aged ten, finds herself making her own way in Sassaspaneck, New York in 1968. Her English father, who never talks above a whisper due to a youthful injury with a cricket ball, has tucked her and her mother away where the potential for embarrassment can be limited. All the other children in town have gone to camp, so Dorothy must provide her own entertainment. She comes across a small, faded zoo on the outskirts of town, and as she begins to get to know the eccentric group of women who live there she begins to discover a world way beyond the one she has glimpsed so far.