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The definitive reference source on the human relationship with nature throughout history

Shepard Krech III, J.R. McNeill, and Carolyn Merchant, Editors

Description    Key Features    About the Editors    Publication Details/Order Online

In order to address today's global environmental challenges, it is important to understand them within the context of humankind's influences on its environment throughout the ages. The Encyclopedia of World Environmental History provides much needed explanation of urgent social and environmental issues — from urbanization to water shortages, climate change to the extinction of species — in articles replete with the stories of human and natural history.

World historians, anthropologists, geographers, and biologists from 26 countries have pooled their knowledge for the first time to trace the interaction of humankind and nature over the course of human history, across cultures, and in the modern world. In more than 500 accessible articles emphasizing cross-cultural exchange, diffusion, and change over time, these scholars demonstrate why the approaches of environmental history are having such wide influence, and how past problems can cast new light on current debates.

The distinguished editors — Shepard Krech III, John McNeill, and Carolyn Merchant — are assisted by an international editorial advisory board of senior scholars, with contributors including Donald Worster, Alfred Crosby, William McNeill, and James Lovelock. Featuring up-to-date coverage of the latest developments in the field, this fascinating new work belongs in any collection serving world history, ecology, environmental studies, geography, or environmental science programs.

  • Unprecedented global coverage spans cultures from prehistory to the present day

  • Over 500 articles written by a community of international experts

  • Illustrated with dozens of unique photographs and original maps and tables

  • Primary text sidebars include ethnographic accounts of rituals to control the environment and explanations of natural events and disasters

  • Articles represent the cross-fertilization of history, geography, and science to put today's environmental issues in context

  • Thorough, analytical index

  • Written and edited for general readers, teachers, and students





Shepard Krech III is Professor of Anthropology at Brown University and author of The Ecological Indian: Myth and History.
John R. McNeill is Professor of History at Georgetown University and author of Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth Century and The Human Web.
Carolyn Merchant is Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics at the University of California, Berkeley and is author of The Death of Nature and Reinventing Eden.

Advisory Board:

Carole Crumley, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Mark Elvin, Australian National University
Susan Flader, University of Missouri
Don Fowler, University of Nevada
Margaretta Lovell, University of California, Berkeley
James McCann, Boston University
Vera Norwood, University of New Mexico
Cheryl Oakes, Forest History Society
Emily W.B. Russell, Rutgers University
Doug Weiner, University of Arizona
Verena Winiwarter, University of Vienna, Austria
John Wirth, Stanford University (deceased)



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