|Field Life||Jeremy Vetter||This book examines the practice of science in the field in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains of the American West between the 1860s and the 1910s, when the railroad was the dominant form of long-distance transportation. Grounded in approaches from environmental history and the history of technology, it emphasizes the material basis of scientific fieldwork, joining together the human labor that produced knowledge with the natural world in which those practices were embedded.
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|Living with Lead||Bradley Snow||The Coeur d’Alenes, a twenty-five by ten mile portion of the Idaho Panhandle, is home to one of the most productive mining districts in world history. Its legacy also includes environmental pollution on an epic scale. Living with Lead entangles the costs and benefits of a century of mining, milling, and smelting in a small western city and the region that surrounds it.
|When They Hid the Fire||Daniel French||Daniel French examines the American social perceptions of electricity as an energy technology between the mid-19th and early decades of the 20th centuries. Arguing that both technical and cultural factors played a role, French shows how electricity became an invisible and abstract form of energy in American society, leading Americans to culturally construct electricity as unlimited and environmentally inconsequential—a newfound “basic right” of life in the United States.