The influence of human economies and cultures on ecosystems is particularly striking in the new worlds into which Europeans have expanded over the past five hundred years. Using a comparative and multidisciplinary approach, Beinart and Coates examine this neglected aspect of the history of settler incursion and dominance in two frontier nations, the USA and South Africa. They also seek to explain change in indigenous ideas and practices towards the environment, and discuss the rise of popular environmentalism up to the present day.
William Beinart is Reader and Peter Coates Lecturer in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol. William Beinart is the author of Hidden Struggles in Rural South Africa (1987), and Twentieth-Century South Africa (1994). He is the co-editor of Segregation and Apartheid in Twentieth-Century South Africa (1995). Peter Coates is the author of In Nature's Defence (1993).
'One of the best reads in any academic literature, the book transcends disciplinary boundaries, and provides a short but effective benchmark for future studies in environmental history. A veritable tour de force.' - Ecumene 1997
'It is a source of intelligent discussion, well-referenced for non-specialists, and uses original examples drawn from the authors' familiarity with South Africa and the United States. Beautifully written book.' - Ecumene 1997
'... this book is a veritable tour de force ...' - Michael Redclift Ecumene
'They write with clarity, elegance a point. ... In a mere 120 pages they cover an extraordinary range of topics - hunting, forests, agriculture, national parks, conservation, environmentalism, land reform. ... Splendid in itself, ...' - Jrnl of Southern African Studies
'...this is an excellent book, concisely written with a sense of subtle humour, with good references, suggestions for further reading and an index.' - Interdisciplinary Strands