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An Environmental History Of Latin America

Author: Shawn William Miller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521848539
Size: 11.61 MB
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This book narrates the mutually mortal historical contest between humans and nature in Latin America. Covering a period that begins with Amerindian civilizations and concludes in the region's present urban agglomerations, the work offers an original synthesis of the current scholarship on Latin America's environmental history and argues that tropical nature played a central role in shaping the region's historical development. Seeing Latin America's environmental past from the perspective of many centuries illustrates that human civilizations, ancient and modern, have been simultaneously more powerful and more vulnerable than previously thought.

An Environmental History Of Latin America

Author: Shawn William Miller
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1316224325
Size: 26.62 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A narration of the mutually mortal historical contest between humans and nature in Latin America. Covering a period that begins with Amerindian civilizations and concludes in the region's present urban agglomerations, the work offers an original synthesis of the current scholarship on Latin America's environmental history and argues that tropical nature played a central role in shaping the region's historical development. Human attitudes, populations, and appetites, from Aztec cannibalism to more contemporary forms of conspicuous consumption, figure prominently in the story. However, characters such as hookworms, whales, hurricanes, bananas, dirt, butterflies, guano, and fungi make more than cameo appearances. Recent scholarship has overturned many of our egocentric assumptions about humanity's role in history. Seeing Latin America's environmental past from the perspective of many centuries illustrates that human civilizations, ancient and modern, have been simultaneously more powerful and more vulnerable than previously thought.

A History Of Mining In Latin America

Author: Kendall Brown
Publisher: UNM Press
ISBN: 0826351077
Size: 61.68 MB
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For twenty-five years, Kendall Brown studied Potosí, Spanish America's greatest silver producer and perhaps the world's most famous mining district. He read about the flood of silver that flowed from its Cerro Rico and learned of the toil of its miners. Potosí symbolized fabulous wealth and unbelievable suffering. New World bullion stimulated the formation of the first world economy but at the same time it had profound consequences for labor, as mine operators and refiners resorted to extreme forms of coercion to secure workers. In many cases the environment also suffered devastating harm. All of this occurred in the name of wealth for individual entrepreneurs, companies, and the ruling states. Yet the question remains of how much economic development mining managed to produce in Latin America and what were its social and ecological consequences. Brown's focus on the legendary mines at Potosí and comparison of its operations to those of other mines in Latin America is a well-written and accessible study that is the first to span the colonial era to the present.

Environmental History And The American South

Author: Paul Sutter
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820332801
Size: 72.10 MB
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This reader gathers fifteen of the most important essays written in the field of southern environmental history over the past decade. Ideal for course use, the volume provides a convenient entrée into the recent literature on the region as it indicates the variety of directions in which the field is growing. As coeditor Paul S. Sutter writes in his introduction, “recent trends in environmental historiography--a renewed emphasis on agricultural landscapes and their hybridity, attention to the social and racial histories of environmental thought and practice, and connections between health and the environment among them--have made the South newly attractive terrain. This volume suggests, then, that southern environmental history has not only arrived but also that it may prove an important space for the growth of the larger environmental history enterprise.” The writings, which range in setting from the Texas plains to the Carolina Lowcountry, address a multiplicity of topics, such as husbandry practices in the Chesapeake colonies and the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The contributors’ varied disciplinary perspectives--including agricultural history, geography, the history of science, the history of technology, military history, colonial American history, urban and regional planning history, and ethnohistory--also point to the field’s vitality. Conveying the breadth, diversity, and liveliness of this maturing area of study, Environmental History and the American South affirms the critical importance of human-environmental interactions to the history and culture of the region. Contributors: Virginia DeJohn Anderson William Boyd Lisa Brady Joshua Blu Buhs Judith Carney James Taylor Carson Craig E. Colten S. Max Edelson Jack Temple Kirby Ralph H. Lutts Eileen Maura McGurty Ted Steinberg Mart Stewart Claire Strom Paul Sutter Harry Watson Albert G. Way

A Living Past

Author: John Soluri
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 1785333917
Size: 29.14 MB
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Though still a relatively young field, the study of Latin American environmental history is blossoming, as the contributions to this definitive volume demonstrate. Bringing together thirteen leading experts on the region, A Living Past synthesizes a wide range of scholarship to offer new perspectives on environmental change in Latin America and the Spanish Caribbean since the nineteenth century. Each chapter provides insightful, up-to-date syntheses of current scholarship on critical countries and ecosystems (including Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean, the tropical Andes, and tropical forests) and such cross-cutting themes as agriculture, conservation, mining, ranching, science, and urbanization. Together, these studies provide valuable historical contexts for making sense of contemporary environmental challenges facing the region.

Green Land Brown Land Black Land

Author: James McCann
Publisher: Heinemann Educational Books
ISBN: 9780325000961
Size: 46.97 MB
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James C. McCann provides a synthesis of evidence and a narrative of Africa's evironmental history over the past two centuries. In a book readily accessible to undergraduates and nonspecialists, Professor McCann argues that far from being pristine and primordial spaces, Africa's landscapes were created by human activity. This argument contrasts strongly with the idealized notions of an African Eden commonly held in the West and in Africa itself. It also confronts more recent alarm about degradation of Africa's natural and human resources by examining the historical evidence of environmental change. Key topics within the book are the effects of population growth, disease, agricultural change, the state of natural resources, and the changing role of the state in how Africans have managed and changed their own landscapes.

Mosquito Empires

Author: J. R. McNeill
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1139484508
Size: 62.93 MB
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This book explores the links among ecology, disease, and international politics in the context of the Greater Caribbean - the landscapes lying between Surinam and the Chesapeake - in the seventeenth through early twentieth centuries. Ecological changes made these landscapes especially suitable for the vector mosquitoes of yellow fever and malaria, and these diseases wrought systematic havoc among armies and would-be settlers. Because yellow fever confers immunity on survivors of the disease, and because malaria confers resistance, these diseases played partisan roles in the struggles for empire and revolution, attacking some populations more severely than others. In particular, yellow fever and malaria attacked newcomers to the region, which helped keep the Spanish Empire Spanish in the face of predatory rivals in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. In the late eighteenth and through the nineteenth century, these diseases helped revolutions to succeed by decimating forces sent out from Europe to prevent them.

Technocrats And The Politics Of Drought And Development In Twentieth Century Brazil

Author: Eve E. Buckley
Publisher: UNC Press Books
ISBN: 1469634317
Size: 53.92 MB
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Eve E. Buckley's study of twentieth-century Brazil examines the nation's hard social realities through the history of science, focusing on the use of technology and engineering as vexed instruments of reform and economic development. Nowhere was the tension between technocratic optimism and entrenched inequality more evident than in the drought-ridden Northeast sertao, plagued by chronic poverty, recurrent famine, and mass migrations. Buckley reveals how the physicians, engineers, agronomists, and mid-level technocrats working for federal agencies to combat drought were pressured by politicians to seek out a technological magic bullet that would both end poverty and obviate the need for land redistribution to redress long-standing injustices. Scientists planned and oversaw huge projects including dam construction, irrigation for small farmers, and public health initiatives. They were, Buckley shows, sincerely determined to solve the drought crisis and improve the lot of poor people in the sertao. Over time, however, they came to the frustrating realization that, despite technology's tantalizing promise of an apolitical means to end poverty, political collisions among competing stakeholders were inevitable. Buckley's revelations about technocratic hubris, the unexpected consequences of environmental engineering, and constraints on scientists as agents of social change resonate with today's hopes that science and technology can solve society's most pressing dilemmas, including climate change.

War Upon The Land

Author: Lisa M. Brady
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
ISBN: 0820343838
Size: 71.15 MB
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In this first book-length environmental history of the American Civil War, Lisa M. Brady argues that ideas about nature and the environment were central to the development and success of Union military strategy. From the start of the war, both sides had to contend with forces of nature, even as they battled one another. Northern soldiers encountered unfamiliar landscapes in the South that suggested, to them, an uncivilized society's failure to control nature. Under the leadership of Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman, and Philip Sheridan, the Union army increasingly targeted southern environments as the war dragged on. Whether digging canals, shooting livestock, or dramatically attempting to divert the Mississippi River, the Union aimed to assert mastery over nature by attacking the most potent aspect of southern identity and power--agriculture. Brady focuses on the siege of Vicksburg, the 1864 Shenandoah Valley campaign, marches through Georgia and the Carolinas, and events along the Mississippi River to examine this strategy and its devastating physical and psychological impact. Before the war, many Americans believed in the idea that nature must be conquered and subdued. Brady shows how this perception changed during the war, leading to a wider acceptance of wilderness. Connecting environmental trauma with the onset of American preservation, Brady pays particular attention to how these new ideas of wilderness can be seen in the creation of national battlefield memorial parks as unaltered spaces. Deftly combining environmental and military history with cultural studies, War upon the Land elucidates an intriguing, largely unexplored side of the nation's greatest conflict.

Environmental Histories Of The Cold War

Author: J. R. McNeill
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521762448
Size: 55.12 MB
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Explores the links between the Cold War and the global environment, ranging from the environmental impacts of nuclear weapons to the political repercussions of environmentalism.