Down to Earth: Natures Role in American History

Paperback | July 13, 2012

byTed Steinberg

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In this ambitious and provocative text, environmental historian Ted Steinberg offers a sweeping history of the United States - a history that places the environment at the very center of the narrative. Now in a new edition, Down to Earth reenvisions the story of America "from the ground up."It reveals how focusing on plants, animals, climate, and other ecological factors can radically change the way that we think about the past. Examining such familiar topics as colonization, the industrial revolution, slavery, the Civil War, and the emergence of consumer culture, Steinberg recountshow the natural world influenced the course of human history. From the colonists' attempts to impose order on the land to modern efforts to sell the wilderness as a consumer good, he reminds readers that many critical episodes in U.S. history were, in fact, environmental events. The text highlightsthe ways in which Americans have attempted to reshape and control nature, from Thomas Jefferson's surveying plan, which divided the national landscape into a grid, to the transformation of animals, crops, and even water into commodities. In this third edition, Steinberg addresses the role of corporations in U.S. environmental history, in part by exploring the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil-spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He has also updated the discussion of climate change in order to offer a fuller assessment of U.S. policy and itsworld-historical importance.

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In this ambitious and provocative text, environmental historian Ted Steinberg offers a sweeping history of the United States - a history that places the environment at the very center of the narrative. Now in a new edition, Down to Earth reenvisions the story of America "from the ground up."It reveals how focusing on plants, animals, c...

Ted Steinberg is Davee Professor of History and Law at Case Western Reserve University. He is author of American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn (2006), Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America (OUP, 2000), Slide Mountain, or the Folly of Owning Nature (1996), and Nature Incorporated (1994).

other books by Ted Steinberg

Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America
Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:384 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:July 13, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199797390

ISBN - 13:9780199797394

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments to the Third EditionAcknowledgments to the Second EditionAcknowledgmentsPrologue: Rocks and HistoryPart One: Chaos to Simplicity1. Wilderness under Fire2. A Truly New World3. Reflections from a WoodlotPart Two: Rationalization and Its Discontents4. A World of Commodities5. King Climate in Dixie6. The Great Food Fight7. Extracting the New South8. The Unforgiving West9. Conservation Reconsidered10. Death of the Organic CityPart Three: Consuming Nature11. Moveable Feast12. The Secret History of Meat13. America in Black and Green14. Throwaway Society15. Shade of Green16. In Corporations We TrustNotesBibliographyIndex