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October 2000
272 pages  

6 x 9 1/4
9780822957478
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A History of Environmental Politics since 1945
Hays, Samuel
An overview of contemporary environmental affairs, from 1940s to the present—with an emphasis on nature in an urbanized society, land developments, environmental technology, the structure of environmental politics, environmental opposition, and the results of environmental policy.

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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.
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Long before public life in America was enlivened with such dramatic sound bites as acid rain, global warming, rain forests and the ozone layer, Samuel P. Hays was well launched on his career of tracking this new phenomenon of environmental affairs. His first foray, a book on the early twentieth-century conservation movement, published in 1958, helped to launch environmental history as a field and his continued writings after coming to the University of Pittsburgh in 1960 helped to bring the field to full flower. Now he has produced another volley which promises to continue to energize this growing and dynamic field of study, A History of Environmental Politics since 1945. Hays provides an overview of environmental politics during the last half century, both its formative and its maturing years, that will be useful to those who are actively engaged in environmental affairs and those who wish to watch and assess it from the sidelines. His themes are both simple and diverse. His overall focus is on the emergence of an environmental culture which has engaged millions of Americans in varied ways of thought and action, on the one hand, and the intense opposition to that drive on the other. Hays explores a wide range of issues such as the role of nature in an urban society; pollution and its causes and effects; the impact of an ever increasing population and its voracious appetite to consume. At the same time he follows these threads through science, technology, economics, management, the structure of politics and the results of policy. A History of Environmental Politics since 1945 provides an introduction to the subject for both the specialist and the lay audience, the general public and the student. It provides a high level of insight that will inform both those who are environmental experts and those who wish to take a first step at grasping the meaning of environmental affairs. It constitutes a formative guide for a subject that promises to engage the nation ever more fully in the years to come.
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“Hays has produced a very useful starting point for those interested in surveying environmentalism and the environmental movement in the United States. It is a fine roadmap for a complex set of issues.”—Martin V. Melosi, University of Houston

“Sam Hays's insights into modern American environmental thought are as stimulating as they are original. This book’s close analysis of the long-standing interplay between developmental and environmental values, and his prediction that these constructs will continue ‘in tandem and in tension’ for the foreseeable future is shrewd. But with Hays as our guide, we have a fighting chance to insure a broader extension of green perspectives in the new century.”—Char Miller, co-author of The Greatest Good: 100 Years of Forestry in America, editor of Water in the West: A High Country News Reader, and co-editor of Out of the Woods: Essays in Environmental History

A History of Environmental Politics since 1945 is deeply rooted in Samuel P. Hays’s long and brilliant scholarly career as one of America’s premier political and social historians, and is his clearest and most powerful statement to date of the evolution of environmental politics in the United States and how it fits into the nation’s overall history and social fabric.”—Jeffrey K. Stine, Smithsonian Institution, and author, Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway

“This book is classic Hays, which means that there is nothing better in the field. The writing is clear, hard-headed, logical and penetrating. No one gets to the nub of environmental politics better than Sam Hays.”—John Opie, author of Nature’s Nation: An Environmental History of the United States

“His book is a solid, critical primer.”---R. M. Rakoff, Choice, March 2001

“a clear and powerful statement on the evolution of environmental politics in the United States and its place in the nation’s overall history and social fabric.”--Swarthmore College Bulletin, December 2001

“ . . . the book succeeds in synthesizing an enormous range of issues and ideas into one readable book. . . .The style of the book is very logical and concise, which means that upper-level undergraduates as well as scholars can follow its arguments. Those scholars and students of environmental politics and policy in the USA and advanced idustrial nations more generally will greatly profit from reading this book.” —Anthony R. Zito, Environmental Conservation, Vol. 29, No. 3


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