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An Environmental History of Latin America

$29.99 (G)

Part of New Approaches to the Americas

  • Date Published: August 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521612982

$ 29.99 (G)
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About the Authors
  • This book narrates the mutually mortal historical contest between humans and nature in Latin America. Covering a period that begins with Amerindian civilizations and concludes in the region's present urban agglomerations, the work offers an original synthesis of the current scholarship on Latin America's environmental history and argues that tropical nature played a central role in shaping the region's historical development. Seeing Latin America's environmental past from the perspective of many centuries illustrates that human civilizations, ancient and modern, have been simultaneously more powerful and more vulnerable than previously thought.

    • Excellent supplementary text for courses in environmental history, Latin American history, and world history
    • An original synthesis of the historical interaction between humans and nature in tropical America, from before 1492 to the present
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "For years to come, studies of Latin American environmental history will have to begin with references to Shawn Miller's book." - Alfred W. Crosby, Professor Emeritus of American Studies, History, and Geography, University of Texas at Austin

    "Sailing over the last six centuries in just over two hundred pages, Shawn Miller presents readers with a magnificent panorama of the turbulent environmental history of Latin America. Specialists, students, and general readers will all find Miller's pages intellectually intriguing and often entertaining. A delightful book and an important story." - J. R. McNeill, Georgetown University, author of Something New Under the Sun

    "Shawn Miller has done us a great favor. He has synthesized the Latin American environmental history literature from the past fifteen years, without leaving earlier works behind, to produce the first general text of its kind. [...] It should find an audience in any classroom tackling the topic. [...] One book cannot cover everything, although this one almost does." - Myrna I. Santiago, Saint Mary's College of California, The Americas

    "Shawn William Miller has written a terrific short introduction to the environmental history of Latin America. Engagingly written, carefully researched and just 257 pages long, An Environmental History of Latin America will long be read by anyone interested in environmental studies and the history and anthropology of the lands south of the Rio Grande.... Miller has done a remarkable job of introducing and summarizing a vast number of themes and ideas—the literary equivalent of packing two quarts in a one-quart bottle." - Journal of Latin American Geography

    "...An Environmental History of Latin America offers a basic text for undergraduate teaching that is both informative and conversational. Even when Miller veers into speculative arguments, his book provides excellent material for class discussions to engage students and inform their awareness of environmental processes and issues throughout the Americas." - Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

    "A one volume survey, such as Miller’s lucid and provocative book, has long been needed." - Richard P. Tucker, The Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    "Engagingly written..." - Cynthia Radding, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History

    "Shawn Miller's highly readable and useful survey joins other eminent textbooks published in the series, such as Herbert Klein's on slavery and Susan Socolow's on gender.... Miller's accomplishment is that he corrects surprisingly common misconceptions, many of which still trouble environmentalists, students, and even senior scholars. Insightful revelations abound about pre-Columbian, colonial, and modern Latin American agriculture, beliefs, and urban history." - World History Bulletin

    "Miller addresses the key relationship between Latin American environmental history and political and social theory. In doing so, he also contributes in vital ways to the establishment of environmental history as an essential field of knowledge. In fact, Miller's work and the field of environmental history have a lot to offer a variety of disciplines." - Canadian Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Studies

    "...exciting and impressive..." -Kieko Matteson, Pacific Circle

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521612982
    • length: 272 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: props and scenery
    1. An old world before it was 'new'
    2. Nature's conquests
    3. The colonial balance sheet
    4. Tropical determinism
    5. Human determination
    6. Asphyxiated habitats
    7. Developing environmentalism
    Epilogue: Cuba's latest revolution.

  • Author

    Shawn William Miller, Brigham Young University, Utah
    Shawn W. Miller is the author of Fruitless Trees: Portuguese Conservation and Brazil's Colonial Timber (2000), and has published on Latin America's environmental history in the Hispanic American Historical Review, Forest and Conservation History, and Colonial Latin American Historical Review.

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