The Unending Frontier (Paperback)
An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (California World History Library #1)
University of California Press, 9780520246782, 696pp.
Publication Date: January 19, 2006
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.
About the Author
Praise For The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World (California World History Library #1)…
— Times Literary Supplement
— Felipe Fernandez-Armesto,
“This is a major work of world and environmental history that experts and nonexperts will be consulting and quoting for years to come.”
— American Historical Review
“This is more than a good textbook for a world history course. . . . It is a work that should be required reading for all early modernists, because it makes the strongest case to date for the importance of environmental history to the broader field.”
— Journal of Modern History
— International History Review
“Richards’s book is an admirable success and an intellectual adventure. Completely dependable in its scholarship, it undoubtedly will be one of the few that environmental historians place on a shelf within reach for ready consultation. . . . All in all, this work is a masterpiece that will stand the test of time.”
— Environmental History