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Environmental Discourse and Practice: A Reader

Lisa M. Benton (Editor), John Rennie Short (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-21114-3
236 pages
June 1999, Wiley-Blackwell
Environmental Discourse and Practice: A Reader (0631211144) cover image


This book brings together a set of readings that throw light on the relationship between people and the environment.
  • Provides both historical background and an analysis of key debates and theories
  • Based on tried and tested classroom teaching material
  • Uses the idea of "environmental discourses" to explain human-environmental relationships
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Table of Contents



Part I: Native Americans and the Environment:.

1. A Spider's Web (1961): Black Elk.

2. The Ties that Bind (1990): Annie L. Booth and Harvey M. Jacobs.

3. How Can One Sell the Air: A Manifesto for the Earth (ca. 1855): Chief Seattle.

4. The Cycle of Life (1990): Audrey Shenandoah.

5. An Iroquois Perspective (1980): Oren Lyons.

Part II: Colonial Encounters:.


6. A Certaine Indian (1621): William Bradford.

7. The Indians Grew Very Inquisitive (1647): John Winthrop.

8. Before They Got Thick (ca. Early Nineteenth Century): Percy Bigmouth.

9. Give Us Good Goods (1743): Anonymous.

10. The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the Americas in 1492 (1992): William M. Denevan.

11. The Invasion of America: Indians, Colonialism and the Cant of Conquest (1975): Francis Jennings.

12. Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England (1983): William Cronon.

13. The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 (1972): Alfred W. Crosby Jr.

Part III: Territorial Expansion:.


14. Moving West (1797): Daniel Boone.

15. The 1785 Ordnance.

16. The Oregon Trail (1849): Francis Parkman Jr.

17. Letters Home (1863-5): Gro Svendsen.

18. The Garden of the World and American Agrarianism (1950): Henry Nash Smith.

19. American Railways (1903): Edwin Pratt.

20. From Report of the Lands of the Arid Region of the United States (1878): John Wesley Powell.

21. The Significance of the Frontier in American History (1894): Frederick Jackson Turner.

Part IV: An American Environment:.


22. The American Wilderness (1982): Roderick Nash.

23. From The Pioneers (1823): James Fenimore Cooper.

24. William Cooper's Town (1995): Alan Taylor.

25. Essay on American Scenery (1835): Thomas Cole.

Part V: The Early Environmental Movement:.


26. Walking (1862): Henry David Thoreau.

27. Man and Nature (1864): George Perkins Marsh.

28. National Park Legislation (1864).

29. National Park Legislation (1872).

30. National Parks: The American Experience (1987): Alfred Runte.

31. A Voice for Wilderness (1901): John Muir.

32. National Park Service Legislation (1916).

Part VI: The Progressive Movement and the Environment:.


33. The Conservation Movement and the Progressive Tradition (1959): Samuel Hays.

34. Conservation, Protection, Reclamation and Irrigation (1901): Theodore Roosevelt.

35. Theodore Roosevelt and Conservation (1997): H. W. Brands.

36. The Birth of Conservation (1947): Gifford Pinchot.

37. Efficiency, Equity and Esthetics: Shifting Themes in American Conservation (1987): Clayton R. Koppes.

Part VII: Environmental Thinkers:.


38. Thinking Like a Mountain (1949): Aldo Leopold.

39. The Obligation to Endure (1962): Rachel Carson.

40. The Economics of the Coming Spaceship Earth (1966): Kenneth E. Boulding.

Part VIII: The Regulatory Revolution:.


41. Message to Congress (1970): Richard Nixon.

42. A Fierce Green Fire (1993): Philip Shabecoff.

43. Environmental Policy Since the 1970s (1994): Norman J. Vig and Michael E. Kraft.

44. Environmental Policy in the Courts (1994): Lettie M. Wenner.

45. The Environmental Impact Statement and the Rhetoric of Democracy (1992): M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline Palmer.

Part IX: The Greening of the United States:.


46. Twenty Years of Environmental Mobilization (1992): Robert Cameron Mitchell, Angela G. Mertig, and Riley E. Dunlap.

47. New York Days (1991): David R. Brower.

48. Environmental Values in American Culture (1995): Willett Kempton, James S. Boster, and Jennifer A. Hartley.

Part X: Debates on the Environment:.


49. Environmental Overkill (1993): Dixie Lee Ray with Lou Guzzo.

50. Ecorealism (1995): Gregg Easterbrook.

51. Green and Competitive (1995): Michael E. Porter and Claas van der Linde.

Part XI: Radical Environmental Discourses:.


52. Deep Ecology (1985): Bill Devall and George Sessions.

53. Confessions of an Eco-Warrior (1991): Dave Foreman.

54. Social Ecology (1990): Murray Bookchin.

55. Rhetoric and Action in Ecotopian Discourse (1992): M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline S. Palmer.

Part XII: Gendered Environmental Discourses:Introduction.

56. Ecofeminism (1992): Carolyn Merchant.

57. Ecofeminism and Bioregionalism (1987-8): Judith Plant.

58. Masculinity and Ecology (1991): Sam Keen.

Part XIII: Environmental Justice:Introduction.

59. Toxic Struggles (1993): Lois Gibbs.

60. Anatomy of Environmental Racism (1993): Robert D. Bullard.

61. Principles of Environmental Justice (1991).

Part XIV: A New Ecological Order?:.


62. Environmentalism and the Future of Progressive Politics (1989): Robert C. Paehlke.

63. The Third Eden (1991): Stanwyn Shetler.

64. Toward a Healing of Self and World (1992): Joanna Macy.

65. The Dream of the Earth (1988): Thomas Berry.

66. Confessions of a Developer (1992): Wallace Kaufman.

67. The Hoop of the World (1961): Black Elk.

Readings: A Full Citation.


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Author Information

Lisa M. Benton teaches Geography and Environmental Studies at Colgate University. She is the author of The Presidio: From Army Post to National Park (1998) and numerous articles in such journals as Environmental Ethics, Environment and Planning and Urban Geography.

John Rennie Short is Professor of Geography at Syracuse University. Amongst his publications are The Humane City (1989), Imagined Country (1991), Human Settlement (1993) The Urban Order (1996), New Worlds, New Geographies (1998) and Representing the Republic (1999).

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The Wiley Advantage

  • Provides both historical background and an analysis of key debates and theories
  • Based on tried and tested classroom teaching material
  • Uses the idea of "environmental discourses" to explain human-environmental relationships
See More


"the Reader is a thought-provoking and useful contribution to explorations of the human ideas about and behaviour toward a fragile and ever-changing environment." Hilda Kurtz, University of Georgia, The Professional Geographer, November 2002
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