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Environmental History Seminar Reading List



To discuss something other than politics (well, not really since what is more political than our understanding of the past), I am teaching a graduate seminar in Environmental History. Here is the reading list. Read along if you want!

Donald Worster, Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s

James Scott, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed

W. Jeffrey Bolster, The Mortal Sea: Fishing in the Age of the Atlantic

Chad Montrie, Making a Living: Work and Environment in the United States

Kate Brown, Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters

Brett Walker, Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan

Marsha Weisiger, Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country

John McNeill, Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620-1914

John Soluri, Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States

Mark Carey, In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society

Andrew Needham, Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest

Couple of notes–I wouldn’t assign a book that was more than $30, eliminating a lot of good options but making this easier to decide. You may also note that there is nothing on modern environmentalism. That’s not really intentional but perhaps is indicative of how boring and stale the discussions of a lot of that is, in my view.

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