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Donald Worster

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A River Running West : The Life of John Wesley Powell

coverNature's Economy : A History of Ecological Ideas (Studies in Environment and History) by Donald Worster

Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation of ecology's past.  It traces the origins of the concept, discusses the thinkers who have shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped the modern perception of our place in nature.  Our view of the living world is a product of culture and the development of ecology since the eighteenth century has closely reflected society's changing concerns.  Donald Worster focuses on these dramatic shifts in outlook and on the individuals whose work has expressed and influenced society's point of view.  The book includes portraits of Linnaeus, Gilbert White, Darwin, Thoreau, and such key twentieth-century ecologists as Frederic Clements, Aldo Leopold, and Eugene Odum.  The book concludes with a look at the directions ecology has taken most recently.  

"A major purpose of this book, written at a time when ecology burgeons as both a science and a cult, is to show that ecological science has always been shifting ground...Worster's style is warm, intellectual, strong, and eloquent." -- Science

"Worster's knowledge of the relevant primary and secondary sources for the history of ecology is extensive....His talents are evident in both analysis and synthesis.  With all things considered, Nature's Economy is clearly an important contribution to the history of ecology."  ISIS

"The in-depth treatment Worster has given to many who contributed to the evolution and revolution of the discipline reflects scholarship of high order.  To write in a highly readable and absorbing style makes it even more praiseworthy.  Graduates in ecology at baccalaureate to doctoral levels, and the many practitioners of the discipline, basic and applied, would do well to take stock of where they came from.  Worster is a very worthwhile guide. -- Ecology

"Donald Worster's book, a gracefully written account of selected events in the history of ecology, is designed to show how this field developed prior to the mid-twentieth century explosion of concern about the subject....Worster has written a volume that should be read and pondered.  Historians have given insufficient attention to some of the topics he discusses, and ecological history is just beginning to receive the priority it deserves.  Worster has made a good beginning. -- American Historical Review

Donald Worster is also the author of Dust Bowl, winner of the 1980 Bancroft Prize.

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The Ends of the Earth by Donald WorsterThe Ends of the Earth : Perspectives on Modern Environmental History (Studies in Environment and History) by Donald Worster

A collection of essays explores the interrelationship of higher population levels, greater resource demands and an increasingly precarious state of the biosphere with the development of an integrated global economy.

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Other Texts by Donald Worster
bulletBust to Boom : Documentary Photographs of Kansas, 1936-1949 
bulletDust Bowl : The Southern Plains in the 1930s 
bullet The Inhabited Prairie 
bullet Nature's Economy : A History of Ecological Ideas (Studies in Environment and History) 
bullet Rivers of Empire : Water, Aridity, and the Growth of the American West 
bullet Under Western Skies : Nature and History in the American West 
bullet An Unsettled Country : Changing Landscapes of the American West (Calvin P. Horn Lectures in Western History and Culture) 
bullet The Wealth of Nature : Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination 
bullet The Wealth of Nature : Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination 
bullet The Ends of the Earth : Perspectives on Modern Environmental History (Studies in Environment and History) 

 

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