Book Reviews The Environment and World History. Edited by edmund burke iii and kenneth pomeranz. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2009. 384 pp. $60.00 (cloth); $24.95 (paper). Edited volumes are measured by the success of meeting the usually ambitious scope they address. In The Environment and World History, the scope and purpose are astonishingly ambitious, and these aspirations are largely achieved. The editors, Edmund Burke and Kenneth Pomeranz, argue that the need to integrate environmental history into world history represents an "urgent intellectual project" (p. xiii), a claim amply supported by the ensuing eleven chapters. Clearly, considering the recurrence of catastrophic storms, famines, water shortages, and an almost constant state of world war over scarce natural resources supports the need to study the human relationship with the natural world in a historical context. The scope of the volume is sprawling--perhaps for some readers slightly unwieldy--covering the last five hundred years of history in Asia, Africa, Russia, Latin America, and the Rhine River. Seeking to bridge the divide between the early modern world and modern world (the nineteenth century), the authors examine continuities, not the more frequently examined ruptures that come about from that historical transition (p. 4). The
Journal of World History – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Aug 9, 2012
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