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Ecological Imperialism
The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900–1900

2nd Edition

Part of Studies in Environment and History

  • Date Published: January 2004
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521837323

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  • People of European descent form the bulk of the population in most of the temperate zones of the world--North America, Australia and New Zealand. The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain because in many cases they were achieved by using firearms against spears. Alfred Crosby, however, explains that the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest. Now in a new edition with a new preface, Crosby revisits his classic work and again evaluates the ecological reasons for European expansion. Alfred W. Crosby is the author of the widely popular and ground-breaking books,The Measure of Reality (Cambridge, 1996), and America's Forgotten Pandemic (Cambridge, 1990). His books have received the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize, the Medical Writers Association Prize and been named by the Los Angeles Times as among the best books of the year. He taught at the University of Texas, Austin for over 20 years. First Edition Hb (1986): 0-521-32009-7 First Edition Pb (1987): 0-521-33613-9

    • Cites ecological reasons for success of European expansion, including movement of flora and fauna
    • New introduction revisits and evaluates the original thesis
    • Argues that Europeans' displacement of native peoples was more a matter of biology than military conquest
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "In telling this very readable story, Mr. Crosby combines a historian's taste for colorful detail with a scientist's hunger for unifying and testable generalization...[He] shows that there is more to history than kings and battles, and more to ecology than fruit and nuts." The Wall Street Journal

    "Crosby argues his case with vigour, authority, and panache, summoning up examples and illustrations that are often as startling in their character as in their implications. Ecological Imperialism could not ask for a more lucid and stylish exponent." Times Literary Supplement

    "Crosby has unfolded with great power the wider biopolitics of our civilization." Nature

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    Product details

    • Edition: 2nd Edition
    • Date Published: January 2004
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521837323
    • length: 408 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • contains: 21 b/w illus. 6 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Prologue
    2. Pangaea revisited, the Neolithic reconsidered
    3. The Norse and the Crusaders
    4. The Fortunate Isles
    5. Winds
    6. Within reach, beyond grasp
    7. Weeds
    8. Animals
    9. Ills
    10. New Zealand
    11. Explanations
    12. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Alfred W. Crosby, University of Texas, Austin
    Alfred W. Crosby is a Professor Emeritus in American Studies, History and Geography at the University of Texas, Austin, where he taught for over twenty years. His previous books include America's Forgotten Pandemic: The Influenza of 1918, 2nd edition (Cambridge, 2003), Throwing Fire: Projectile Technology through History (Cambridge, 2002), The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250–1600 (Cambridge, 1997). The Measure of Reality was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 100 most important books of 1997.

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