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February 1998
480 pages  

6 x 9
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Explorations in Environmental History
Essays by Samuel P. Hays
Hays, Samuel
Exploration in Environmental History represents four decades of writing from one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of environmental history. Samuel Hays’s dedication and research is apparent in every one of these essays, four of which are published here for the first time.

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Samuel P. Hays is University Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Pittsburgh. He is the author of Wars in the Woods: The Rise of Ecological Forestry in America; Explorations in Environmental History; Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency: The Progressive Conservation Movement, 1890-1920; and, with Barbara D. Hays, Beauty, Health, and Permanence: Environmental Politics in the United States, 1955-1985.
“Samuel Hays has been a leader in the field of environmental history since long before the field existed. His essays offer brilliant insight into the changing shape of American environmental politics over the course of the twentieth century and this superb new collection makes them more accessible than ever before. No one who hopes to understand how we got to where we are today can afford to ignore them.”—William Cronon, author of Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West; Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature; and Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England

“This is a comprehensive and definitive collection of essays, published and unpublished by Samuel Hays, who is surely the most senior environmental historian still active in the field. . . .The research and writing of Hays has defined (and continues to define) the best in environmental history and environmentalism in general. . . . [T]he entire volume deserves careful attention by anyone wishing to review and comprehend the modern environmental movement.”---Environmental Ethics

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Samuel P. Hays is one of the most distinguished scholars in the field of environmental history and the leading thinker of its first generation. The range and quality of the scholarship collected here reflect his work as a teacher, scholar, and activist writing in environmental history and provide a powerful exclamation point to a long and distinguished career. The depth of Hays’s research is evident on every page of this collection. He was not one who published just to publish; he wrote what was important and spoke to the heart of continuing debates about the environment from 1959, with the publication of Conservation and the Gospel of Efficiency to the present day. As well as representing his best work from the past four decades, this collection includes four pieces published here for the first time. One of these, the opening essay, is Hay’s autobiographical account of his encounters with many participants in environmental studies and those vigorously involved in contemporary environmental politics. Amid the entire series of environmental dramas that have engaged his attention, he has sought “to establish the case that a perspective of change and evolution over time, the focus of the historian, can be of immense value in informing the ongoing debates over environmental affairs.” This arguement runs through this work.


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