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History | Historical Geography

History | Historical Geography Book List

Cover of 'Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa'

Environmental Imaginaries of the Middle East and North Africa
Edited by Diana K. Davis and Edmund Burke III
· Afterword by Timothy Mitchell

The landscapes of the Middle East have captured our imaginations throughout history. Images of endless golden dunes, camel caravans, isolated desert oases, and rivers lined with palm trees have often framed written and visual representations of the region. Embedded in these portrayals is the common belief that the environment, in most places, has been deforested and desertified by centuries of misuse.

Cover of 'Mountains of Injustice'

Mountains of Injustice
Social and Environmental Justice in Appalachia
Edited by Michele Morrone and Geoffrey L. Buckley
· Foreword by Donald Edward Davis
· Afterword by Jedediah Purdy

Through compelling stories and interviews with people who are fighting for environmental justice, Mountains of Injustice contributes to the ongoing debate over how to equitably distribute the long-term environmental costs and consequences of economic development.

Cover of 'Environment at the Margins'

Environment at the Margins
Literary and Environmental Studies in Africa
Edited by Byron Caminero-Santangelo and Garth Myers

Environment at the Margins brings literary and environmental studies into a robust interdisciplinary dialogue, challenging dominant ideas about nature, conservation, and development in Africa and exploring alternative narratives offered by writers and environmental thinkers. The essays bring together scholarship in geography, anthropology, and environmental history with the study of African and colonial literatures and with literary modes of analysis.

Cover of 'Cultivating the Colonies'

Cultivating the Colonies
Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies
Edited by Christina Folke Ax, Niels Brimnes, Niklas Thode Jensen, and Karen Oslund

The essays collected in Cultivating the Colonies demonstrate how the relationship between colonial power and nature revealsthe nature of power. Each essay explores how colonial governments translated ideas about the management of exoticnature and foreign people into practice, and how they literally “got their hands dirty” in the business of empire.The eleven essays include studies of animal husbandry in the Philippines, farming in Indochina, and indigenous medicine in India.

Cover of 'Mad Dogs and Meerkats'

Mad Dogs and Meerkats
A History of Resurgent Rabies in Southern Africa
By Karen Brown

Through the ages, rabies has exemplified the danger of diseases that transfer from wild animals to humans and their domestic stock. In South Africa, rabies has been on the rise since the latter part of the twentieth century despite the availability of postexposure vaccines and regular inoculation campaigns for dogs.In Mad Dogs and Meerkats: A History of Resurgent Rabies in Southern Africa, Karen Brown links the increase of rabies to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Cover of 'Nature and History in Modern Italy'

Nature and History in Modern Italy
Edited by Marco Armiero and Marcus Hall
· Foreword by Donald Worster

Is Italy il bel paese—the beautiful country—where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity’s greed and nature’s cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator’s vision of Italy.

Cover of 'Healing the Herds'

Healing the Herds
Disease, Livestock Economies, and the Globalization of Veterinary Medicine
Edited by Karen Brown and Daniel Gilfoyle

During the early 1990s, the ability of dangerous diseases to pass between animals and humans was brought once more to the public consciousness. These concerns continue to raise questions about how livestock diseases have been managed over time and in different social, economic, and political circumstances.

Cover of 'The Game of Conservation'

The Game of Conservation
International Treaties to Protect the World’s Migratory Animals
By Mark Cioc

The Game of Conservation is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable examination of nature protection around the world.Twentieth-century nature conservation treaties often originated as attempts to regulate the pace of killing rather than as attempts to protect animal habitat.

Finalist for the African Studies Association’s 2010 Melville J. Herskovits Award.
Cover of 'Wielding the Ax'

Wielding the Ax
State Forestry and Social Conflict in Tanzania, 1820–2000
By Thaddeus Sunseri

Forests have been at the fault lines of contact between African peasant communities in the Tanzanian coastal hinterland and outsiders for almost two centuries. In recent decades, a global call for biodiversity preservation has been the main challenge to Tanzanians and their forests.Thaddeus Sunseri uses the lens of forest history to explore some of the most profound transformations in Tanzania from the nineteenth century to the present.

Cover of 'The World beyond the Windshield'

The World beyond the Windshield
Roads and Landscapes in the United States and Europe
Edited by Christof Mauch and Thomas Zeller

For better or worse, the view through a car’s windshield has redefined how we see the world around us. In some cases, such as the American parkway, the view from the road was the be-all and end-all of the highway; in others, such as the Italian autostrada, the view of a fast, efficient transportation machine celebrating either Fascism or its absence was the goal.

Winner of the George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental History · Winner of the Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Work in Geography · Winner of the James Blaut Award in recognition of innovative scholarship in Cultural and Political Ecology
Cover of 'Resurrecting the Granary of Rome'

Resurrecting the Granary of Rome
Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa
By Diana K. Davis

Tales of deforestation and desertification in North Africa have been told from the Roman period to the present. Such stories of environmental decline in the Maghreb are still recounted by experts and are widely accepted without question today. International organizations such as the United Nations frequently invoke these inaccurate stories to justify environmental conservation and development projects in the arid and semiarid lands in North Africa and around the Mediterranean basin.

Cover of 'Imagining Serengeti'

Imagining Serengeti
A History of Landscape Memory in Tanzania from Earliest Times to the Present
By Jan Bender Shetler

Many students come to African history with a host of stereotypes that are not always easy to dislodge. One of the most common is that of Africa as safari grounds—as the land of expansive, unpopulated game reserves untouched by civilization and preserved in their original pristine state by the tireless efforts of contemporary conservationists.

Cover of 'Triumph of the Expert'

Triumph of the Expert
Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism
By Joseph Morgan Hodge

Triumph of the Expert is a history of British colonial policy and thinking and its contribution to the emergence of rural development and environmental policies in the late colonial and postcolonial period. Joseph Morgan Hodge examines the way that development as a framework of ideas and institutional practices emerged out of the strategic engagement between science and the state at the climax of the British Empire.

Cover of 'Natures of Colonial Change'

Natures of Colonial Change
Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei
By Jacob A. Tropp

In this groundbreaking study, Jacob A. Tropp explores the interconnections between negotiations over the environment and an emerging colonial relationship in a particular South African context—the Transkei—subsequently the largest of the notorious “homelands” under apartheid.In the late nineteenth century, South Africa’s Cape Colony completed its incorporation of the area beyond the Kei River, known as the Transkei, and began transforming the region into a labor reserve.

Cover of 'Inventing Pollution'

Inventing Pollution
Coal, Smoke, and Culture in Britain since 1800
By Peter Thorsheim

Britain’s supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain’s cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.In

Cover of 'How Green Were the Nazis?'

How Green Were the Nazis?
Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich
Edited by Franz-Josef Brüggemeier, Mark Cioc, and Thomas Zeller

The Nazis created nature preserves, championed sustainable forestry, curbed air pollution, and designed the autobahn highway network as a way of bringing Germans closer to nature. How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich is the first book to examine the Third Reich’s environmental policies and to offer an in-depth exploration of the intersections between brown ideologies and green practices.Environmentalists

Cover of 'Imperial Gullies'

Imperial Gullies
Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho
By Kate B. Showers

Once the grain basket for South Africa, much of Lesotho has become a scarred and degraded landscape. The nation’s spectacular erosion and gullying have concerned environmentalists and conservationists for more than half a century. In Imperial Gullies: Soil Erosion and Conservation in Lesotho, Kate B. Showers documents the truth behind this devastation.Showers reconstructs the history of the landscape, beginning with a history of the soil.

CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Cover of 'Highland Sanctuary'

Highland Sanctuary
Environmental History in Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains
By Christopher A. Conte

Highland Sanctuary unravels the complex interactions among agriculture, herding, forestry, the colonial state, and the landscape itself. Conte’s study illuminates the debate over conservation, arguing that contingency and chance, the stuff of human history, have shaped forests in ways that rival the power of nature.

Cover of 'Inventing Global Ecology'

Inventing Global Ecology
Tracking the Biodiversity Ideal in India, 1947–1997
By Michael L. Lewis

Inventing Global Ecology grapples with how we should understand the development of global ecology in the twentieth century. Using India as the case study, Professor Michael Lewis considers the development of conservation policies and conservation sciences since the end of World War II and the role of United States scientists, ideas, and institutions in this process.

Cover of 'Social History and African Environments'

Social History and African Environments
Edited by William Beinart and JoAnn McGregor

The explosion of interest in African environmental history has stimulated research and writing on a wide range of issues facing many African nations.This collection represents some of the finest studies to date. The general topics include African environmental ideas and practices; colonial science, the state and African responses; and settlers and Africans’ culture and nature.

Cover of 'South Africa’s Environmental History'

South Africa’s Environmental History
Cases and Comparisons
Edited by Stephen Dovers, Ruth Edgecombe, and Bill Guest

Environmental history in southern Africa has only recently come into its own as a distinct field of historical inquiry. While natural resources lie at the heart of all environmental history, the field opens the door to a wide range of inquiries, several of which are pioneered in this collection.South Africa’s Environmental History offers a series of local and particular studies followed by more general commentary and comparative studies.The

Cover of 'Eroding the Commons'

Eroding the Commons
The Politics of Ecology in Baringo, Kenya, 1890s–1963
By David M. Anderson

Colonial Baringo was largely unnoticed until drought and localized famine in the mid-1920s led to claims that its crisis was brought on by overcrowding and livestock mismanagement. In response to the alarm over erosion, the state embarked on a program for rehabilitation, conservation, and development.Eroding

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.Tropical

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?The

Cover of 'The Green Archipelago'

The Green Archipelago
Forestry in Preindustrial Japan
By Conrad Totman
· Foreword by James L. A. Webb Jr.

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.

Cover of 'Custodians of the Land'

Custodians of the Land
Ecology and Culture in the History of Tanzania
Edited by Gregory H. Maddox, James L. Giblin, and Isaria N. Kimambo

Farming and pastoral societies inhabit ever-changing environments. This relationship between environment and rural culture, politics and economy in Tanzania is the subject of this volume which will be valuable in reopening debates on Tanzanian history.In