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A Companion to Global Environmental History

ISBN: 978-1-118-97753-8
568 pages
May 2015, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to Global Environmental History (111897753X) cover image


The Companion to Global Environmental History offers multiple points of entry into the history and historiography of this dynamic and fast-growing field, to provide an essential road map to past developments, current controversies, and future developments for specialists and newcomers alike.
  • Combines temporal, geographic, thematic and contextual approaches from prehistory to the present day
  • Explores environmental thought and action around the world, to give readers a cultural, intellectual and political context for engagement with the environment in modern times
  • Brings together environmental historians from around the world, including scholars from South Africa, Brazil, Germany, and China
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Table of Contents

List of Maps x

Notes on Contributors xi

Acknowledgments xv

Global Environmental History: An Introduction xvi
J. R. McNeill and Erin Stewart Mauldin


1 Global Environmental History: The First 150,000 Years 3
J. R. McNeill

2 The Ancient World, c. 500 BCE to 500 CE 18
J. Donald Hughes

3 The Medieval World, 500 to 1500 CE 39
Daniel Headrick

4 The (Modern) World since 1500 57
Robert B. Marks


5 Southeast Asia in Global Environmental History 81
Peter Boomgaard

6 Environmental History in Africa 96
Jane Carruthers

7 Latin America in Global Environmental History 116
Shawn W. Miller

8 The United States in Global Environmental History 132
Erin Stewart Mauldin

9 The Arctic and Subarctic in Global Environmental History 153
Liza Piper

10 The Middle East in Global Environmental History 167
Alan Mikhail

11 Australia in Global Environmental History 182
Libby Robin

12 Oceania: The Environmental History of One-Third of the Globe 196
Paul D'Arcy

13 The Environmental History of the Soviet Union 222
Stephen Brain

14 The Grasslands of North America and Russia 247
David Moon

15 Global Forests 263
Nancy Langston

16 Fishing and Whaling 279
Micah S. Muscolino

17 Riverine Environments 297
Alan Roe

18 War and the Environment 319
Richard P. Tucker

19 Technology and the Environment 340
Paul Josephson

20 Cities and the Environment 360
Jordan Bauer and Martin V. Melosi

21 Evolution and the Environment 377
Edmund Russell

22 Climate Change in Global Environmental History 394
Sam White

23 Industrial Agriculture 411
Meredith McKittrick

24 Biological Exchange in Global Environmental History 433
J. R. McNeill


25 Environmentalism in Brazil: A Historical Perspective 455
José Augusto Pádua

26 Environmentalism and Environmental Movements in China since 1949 474
Bao Maohong

27 Religion and Environmentalism 493
Joachim Radkau

28 The Environmentalism of the Poor: Its Origins and Spread 513
Joan Martinez-Alier

Index 530

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Author Information

J.R. McNeill is Professor of History at Georgetown University, where he held the Cinco Hermanos Chair in Environmental and International Affairs before becoming University Professor in 2006. His book Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World was listed by The Times as one of the best science books ever written. The book was co-winner of the World History Association and Forest History Society book prizes and runner-up for the BP Natural World book prize. McNeill has authored a number of other award-winning books on environmental history, and in 2010 he was awarded the Toynbee Prize for ‘academic and public contributions to humanity.'

Erin Stewart Mauldin is an Assistant Professor of History at Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Her current project examines the ecological implications of the Civil War for agriculture in the U.S. South.

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 “Those whose interest is world environmental history will find this book a pleasure to read from cover to cover, and the bibliographies current and extensive” Choice

 “There is much in this book that will be of interest to environmentalists, geographers and politicians, and the general public. Environmental historians should find this a useful overview of their topic.” Reference Reviews

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