Catalogue


The unending frontier [electronic resource] : an environmental history of the early modern world /
by John F. Richards.
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2003.
description
xiv, 682 p. : maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0520230752 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Berkeley : University of California Press, c2003.
isbn
0520230752 (cloth : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8425629
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 623-659) and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"The Unending Frontier brings into focus the staggering environmental changes that came with the creation of the early modern world economy. John Richards assembles material from all around the world into a crisp and coherent picture of the meaning of global markets for the biosphere in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. This is a work of the first importance for environmental history, for economic history, and for world history."--John R. McNeill, author of Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World "A landmark book. Richards moves deftly among various ways of thinking about the early modern environment--national case studies, studies of particular industries, and reflections on increasing global interconnections--so that we get not only a wealth of important data and stories, but multiple perspectives on the topic as a whole. Both the breadth and the depth of the project are inspiring: people will learn new things about environmental change, even in their regions of specialization. But the biggest payoff is in the way Richards weaves environmental change into more familiar early modern stories of global trade, colonialism, technological change, and, above all, state formation. None of these topics will ever look quite the same again."--Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
Flap Copy
" The Unending Frontier brings into focus the staggering environmental changes that came with the creation of the early modern world economy. John Richards assembles material from all around the world into a crisp and coherent picture of the meaning of global markets for the biosphere in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. This is a work of the first importance for environmental history, for economic history, and for world history."--John R. McNeill, author of Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World "A landmark book. Richards moves deftly among various ways of thinking about the early modern environment--national case studies, studies of particular industries, and reflections on increasing global interconnections--so that we get not only a wealth of important data and stories, but multiple perspectives on the topic as a whole. Both the breadth and the depth of the project are inspiring: people will learn new things about environmental change, even in their regions of specialization. But the biggest payoff is in the way Richards weaves environmental change into more familiar early modern stories of global trade, colonialism, technological change, and, above all, state formation. None of these topics will ever look quite the same again."--Kenneth Pomeranz, author of The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2003-10-01:
Richards (history, Duke Univ.) has prepared an account covering the period from 1500 to 1800 CE, during which world population doubled to between 850 and 950 million persons. In 14 case studies, he focuses on the effects of collective human action on world environment. Chapters on Japan and Britain, e.g., examine the collision between growing populations and limited local and regional resources. Insights are drawn from travelers' accounts and from modern scientific studies in biology, ecology, and environmental studies. Everywhere, the activities of pioneer settlers; water control; biological invasions tied to human mobility; widespread depletion of larger land animals, birds, and marine mammals; and the scarcity and uncertainty of food supplies had enormous environmental impacts. Human, animal, wind, and water power were still the prime energy sources during this period. Little attention is paid to industrial pollution (except for mining) and urbanism because these were not major factors until after 1800. From 1509 to 1800, Richards concludes, a "truly global, interconnected society rapidly knit together" for the first time in human history, with a "pronounced rise and spread in organizational capacity and efficiency." This led to the formation of "early modern states ... and markets," all of which inevitably had profound environmental outcomes. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through professionals. K. B. Sterling formerly, Pace University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
This work identifies four broadly shared historical processes that speeded environmental change from roughly 1500 to 1800 C.E.: intensified human land use along settlement frontiers; biological invasions; commercial hunting of wildlife; and problems of energy scarcity.
Long Description
It was the age of exploration, the age of empire and conquest, and human beings were extending their reach--and their numbers--as never before. In the process, they were intervening in the world's natural environment in equally unprecedented and dramatic ways. A sweeping work of environmental history,The Unending Frontieroffers a truly global perspective on the profound impact of humanity on the natural world in the early modern period. John F. Richards identifies four broadly shared historical processes that speeded environmental change from roughly 1500 to 1800 c.e.: intensified human land use along settlement frontiers; biological invasions; commercial hunting of wildlife; and problems of energy scarcity.The Unending Frontierconsiders each of these trends in a series of case studies, sometimes of a particular place, such as Tokugawa Japan and early modern England and China, sometimes of a particular activity, such as the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling in the Arctic. Throughout, Richards shows how humans--whether clearing forests or draining wetlands, transporting bacteria, insects, and livestock; hunting species to extinction, or reshaping landscapes--altered the material well-being of the natural world along with their own.
Main Description
It was the age of exploration, the age of empire and conquest, and human beings were extending their reach--and their numbers--as never before. In the process, they were intervening in the worlds natural environment in equally unprecedented and dramatic ways. A sweeping work of environmental history, "The Unending Frontier "offers a truly global perspective on the profound impact of humanity on the natural world in the early modern period. John F. Richards identifies four broadly shared historical processes that speeded environmental change from roughly 1500 to 1800 c.e.: intensified human land use along settlement frontiers; biological invasions; commercial hunting of wildlife; and problems of energy scarcity. "The Unending Frontier "considers each of these trends in a series of case studies, sometimes of a particular place, such as Tokugawa Japan and early modern England and China, sometimes of a particular activity, such as the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling in the Arctic. Throughout, Richards shows how humans--whether clearing forests or draining wetlands, transporting bacteria, insects, and livestock; hunting species to extinction, or reshaping landscapes--altered the material well-being of the natural world along with their own.
Main Description
It was the age of exploration, the age of empire and conquest, and human beings were extending their reach--and their numbers--as never before. In the process, they were intervening in the world's natural environment in equally unprecedented and dramatic ways. A sweeping work of environmental history, The Unending Frontier offers a truly global perspective on the profound impact of humanity on the natural world in the early modern period. John F. Richards identifies four broadly shared historical processes that speeded environmental change from roughly 1500 to 1800 c.e.: intensified human land use along settlement frontiers; biological invasions; commercial hunting of wildlife; and problems of energy scarcity. The Unending Frontier considers each of these trends in a series of case studies, sometimes of a particular place, such as Tokugawa Japan and early modern England and China, sometimes of a particular activity, such as the fur trade in North America and Russia, cod fishing in the North Atlantic, and whaling in the Arctic. Throughout, Richards shows how humans--whether clearing forests or draining wetlands, transporting bacteria, insects, and livestock; hunting species to extinction, or reshaping landscapes--altered the material well-being of the natural world along with their own.
Unpaid Annotation
A sweeping environmental history of the early modern world, told through a series of case studies ranging from landscape change in England and China to frontier settlement in Russia and Mexico to the fur trade in North America and Siberia.
Table of Contents
List of Maps
List of Tables Preface
Introduction
The Global Context
The Early Modern World
Climate and Early Modern World Environmental History
Eurasia and Africa
Pioneer Settlement on Taiwan
Internal Frontiers and Intensified Land Use in China
Ecological Strategies in Tokugawa Japan
Landscape Change and Energy Transformation in the British Isles
Frontier Settlement in Russia
Wildlife and Livestock in South Africa
The Americas
The Columbian Exchange: The West Indies
Ranching, Mining, and Settlement Frontiers in Colonial Mexico
Sugar and Cattle in Portuguese Brazil
Landscapes of Sugar in the Antilles
The World Hunt
Furs and Deerskins in Eastern North America
The Hunt for Furs in Siberia
Cod and the New World Fisheries
Whales and Walruses in the Northern Oceans
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem