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Environmental History

Environmental History Book List

Cover of 'Between the Sea and the Lagoon'

Between the Sea and the Lagoon
An Eco-social History of the Anlo of Southeastern Ghana c. 1850 to Recent Times
By Emmanuel Kwaku Akyeampong

This study offers a “social interpretation of environmental process” for the coastal lowlands of southeastern Ghana. The Anlo-Ewe, sometimes hailed as the quintessential sea fishermen of the West African coast, are a previously non-maritime people who developed a maritime tradition. As a fishing community the Anlo have a strong attachment to their land. In the twentieth century coastal erosion has brought about a collapse of the balance between nature and culture.

Cover of 'Tropical Pioneers'

Tropical Pioneers
Human Agency and Ecological Change in the Highlands of Sri Lanka, 1800–1900
By James L. A. Webb Jr.

In 1800, the highlands of Sri Lanka had some of the most biologically diverse primary tropical rainforest ecosystems in the world. By 1900, only a few craggy corners and mountain caps had been spared the fire stick. Highland villagers, through the extension of slash-and-burn agriculture, and British managers, through the creation of plantations—first of coffee, then cinchona, and finally tea—had removed virtually the entire primary forest cover.

Cover of 'Encountering the Past in Nature'

Encountering the Past in Nature
Essays in Environmental History
Edited by Timo Myllyntaus and Mikko Saikku

A deeper understanding of contemporary environmental problems requires us to know where we come from, and the study of environmental history will help us in that quest. Environmental history, in short, may be described as an attempt to study the interaction between humans and nature in the past. How have human societies affected their environment and vice versa? What does history tell us about ecological change?

Cover of 'The Green Archipelago'

The Green Archipelago
Forestry in Preindustrial Japan
By Conrad Totman

This inaugural volume in the Ohio University Press Series in Ecology and History is the paperback edition of Conrad Totman’s widely acclaimed study of Japan’s environmental policies over the centuries. Professor Totman raises the critical question of how Japan’s steeply mountainous woodland has remained biologically healthy despite centuries of intensive exploitation by a dense human population that has always been dependent on wood and other forest products.