Surroundings

A History of Environments and Environmentalisms

Etienne S. Benson

Surroundings

Etienne S. Benson

296 pages | 16 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2020
Paper $27.50 ISBN: 9780226706290 Will Publish April 2020
Cloth $82.50 ISBN: 9780226706153 Will Publish April 2020
E-book $27.50 ISBN: 9780226706320 Will Publish April 2020
Given the ubiquity of environmental rhetoric in the modern world, it’s easy to think that the meaning of the terms environment and environmentalism are and always have been self-evident. But in Surroundings, we learn that the environmental past is much more complex than it seems at first glance. In this wide-ranging history of the concept, Etienne S. Benson uncovers the diversity of forms that environmentalism has taken over the last two centuries and opens our eyes to the promising new varieties of environmentalism that are emerging today.
 
Through a series of richly contextualized case studies, Benson shows us how and why particular groups of people—from naturalists in Napoleonic France in the 1790s to global climate change activists today—adopted the concept of environment and adapted it to their specific needs and challenges. Bold and deeply researched, Surroundings challenges much of what we think we know about what an environment is, why we should care about it, and how we can protect it.
Contents
Introduction: What Was an Environment?

1 The World in the Museum: Natural History and the Invention of Organisms and Environments in Post-Revolutionary Paris
2 Environments of Empire: Disease, Race, and Statistics in the British Caribbean
3 The Urban Milieu: Evolutionary Theory and Social Reform in Progressive Chicago
4 The Biosphere as Battlefield: Strategic Materials and Systems Theories in a World at War
5 The Evolution of Risk: Toxicology, Consumption, and the US Environmental Movement
6 The Human Planet: Globalization, Climate Change, and the Future of Civilization on Earth
Conclusion: What Might the Environment Become?
 
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

Keep Informed

JOURNALs