REVIEWS From Rainforest to Cane Field in Cuba: An Environmental History since 1492. Reinaldo Funes Monzote. . The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, NC. pp. Maps, photographs, tables, appendices, notes, index, bibliographic essay, glossary. $. paper. (ISBN: -) susan j. fernandez University of South Florida - St. Petersburg Systematically and conscientiously, Reinaldo Funes Monzote tackles the challenge of determining the impact of sugar on the Cuban environment. Examining arguments regarding the ``best'' use of the island's woodlands in historical context, Funes has uncovered historic and timely debates about private versus public interest and sustainable development in Cuba. Although the subtitle of the book is ``An Environmental History since ,'' Funes mainly focuses on three distinct phases of colonial and early national Cuba. The first phase was the period of expansion and consolidation of Spanish colonialism, as Cuba became vital to control of the rest of the Americas. This period lasted to the early s, and the first significant impact of deforestation resulted from the use of timber for ``floating forests:'' shipbuilding, prioritized by the colonial system. Funes details how, as settlement expanded, colonial governments attempted to negotiate among competing demands of the navy and settlers requiring
Southeastern Geographer – University of North Carolina Press
Published: Mar 5, 2009
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