Mining North America (Paperback)

An Environmental History since 1522

By John R. McNeill (Editor), George Vrtis (Editor)

University of California Press, 9780520279179, 456pp.

Publication Date: July 3, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (7/3/2017)

List Price: 34.95*
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 Over the past five hundred years, North Americans have increasingly relied on mining to produce much of their material and cultural life. From cell phones and computers to cars, roads, pipes, pans, and even wall tile, mineral-intensive products have become central to North American societies. As this process has unfolded, mining has also indelibly shaped the natural world and the human societies within it. Mountains have been honeycombed, rivers poisoned, forests leveled, and the consequences of these environmental transformations have fallen unevenly across North America.
Drawing on the work of scholars from Mexico, the United States, and Canada, Mining North America examines these developments. It covers an array of minerals and geographies while bringing mining into the core debates that animate North American environmental history. Taken all together, the essays in this book make a powerful case for the centrality of mining in forging North American environments and societies.

About the Author

J. R. McNeill is Professor of History and University Professor at Georgetown University. His most recent books are The Great Acceleration: An Environmental History of the Anthropocene since 1945 and Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620–1914.

George Vrtis is Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies at Carleton College.


Praise For Mining North America: An Environmental History since 1522

"Mining North America (un)covers a lot of ground. It also succeeds at its major task: describing the intertwined social and environmental consequences of mining . . . [it] will prove an effective resource for those who want to better understand environmental change on a continental scale."

— H-LatAm

"[A] valuable find and a worthy read."

— Human Ecology