A Companion to American Environmental History
Blackwell Companions to American History
Editor: Douglas Cazaux Sackman
A Companion to American Environmental History gathers together a comprehensive collection of over 30
essays that examine the evolving and diverse field of American environmental history.
Provides a complete historiography of American environmental history
Brings the field up-to-date to reflect the latest trends and encourages new directions for the field
Includes the work of path-breaking environmental historians, from the founders of the field, to contributions
from innovative young scholars
Takes stock of the discipline through five topically themed parts, with essays ranging from American
Indian Environmental Relations to Cities and Suburbs
"The volume admirably covers material and cultural approaches to environmental history... I was
impressed with the thoroughness and clarity of almost all the entries.
The American Society for Environmental History was organized in 1976, and this companion volume
celebrates its members' achievements during the past one-third century. The book presents diverse
perspectives and topics in 32chapters, including "Fire," "Air," "Race and US Environmental History,"
"Class," "Gender," "Flora," "Fauna," "Cities and Suburbs," "Who Cares about Forests?" and "Oceans."
No individual chapter focuses on pollution or environmental degradation, though these topics appear in
several contexts. Many chapters offer revisionist history, bypassing traditional environmental heroes or
emphasis on wilderness, conservation, and preservation. Instead, they discuss Indians, herdsmen,
lumbermen, and farmers. Indians, not invariably stewards of the environment, became part of European
trade networks and were favorably impacted by the introduction of horses. Dams improved economies but
also degraded fisheries. All but one chapter have excellent bibliographies. Most bibliographies emphasize
books, and the Society's journal, Environmental History, does not receive any special attention. Anyone
who wishes to study or research a topic in American environmental history can quickly learn from one or
more chapters what has already been written on the subject and how environmental historians evaluate
that particular literature. Although there are no illustrations, diagrams, or maps, this volume is a critical
acquisition for all academic library reference collections."