A narration of 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. Human attitudes, populations, and appetites, from Aztec cannibalism to more contemporary forms of conspicuous consumption, figure prominently in the story. However, characters such as hookworms, whales, hurricanes, bananas, dirt, butterflies, guano, and fungi make more than cameo appearances. Recent scholarship has overturned many of our egocentric assumptions about humanity's role in history. 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.Read more
- 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
Reviews & endorsements
'… an important contribution to the subject of environmental studies.' Contemporary ReviewSee more reviews
'Miller's work makes an indispensable contribution to the conceptualisation and feasibility of sustainability, one of the most relevant and urgent problems of our time, giving Latin America a central and strategic place in the discussion.' Journal of Latin American Studies
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- Date Published: November 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.
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