Cover image for Nature's bounty : historical and modern environmental perspectives
Nature's bounty : historical and modern environmental perspectives
Penna, Anthony N.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Armonk, N.Y. : M.E. Sharpe, [1999]

Physical Description:
xvi, 300 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GE150 .P46 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This thorough, clearly organized text focuses on four major environmental categories: forests and land, wildlife and wildlife habitat, water and drinking water quality, and air. Each category is treated historically from the time of exploration and discovery in the seventeenth century to the present. There are also discussions on environmental public policy issues currently in our national debate. The text is integrated throughout with fascinating primary source documents -- eyewitness accounts, government reports and documents, speeches, and congressional testimony -- which illuminate the material.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Penna presents a broad overview of environmental history organized around four general topics: forests, wildlife, water quality, and air pollution. Each topic is introduced with a historical essay by the author, followed by several short excerpts from primary sources. The introductory essays are well documented from recent works in the historical literature, and Penna does a good job of connecting historical and contemporary environmental issues. Readings from primary sources are generally well chosen to illustrate the themes that Penna develops in his essays. Also quite effective are several historical photographs that accompany some of the articles. Although readers can find abundant sources of additional information in the endnotes, a bibliography would have been a helpful addition to the book. Nature's Bounty is a useful introduction to the field of environmental history for general readers and undergraduates. J. B. Hagen Radford University

Table of Contents

Introduction: Early History
The Commodification of Nature
The Conservation and Environmental Movements
Reasons for Optimism: An Environmentally Friendly Future
1 Forests Introduction: What are the Benefits of a Forest
Forests Today
The Forests During the Period of European Exploration
The Northeast: Early History from the Colonial Period to the Civil War
Early Warnings About the Effects of Deforestation
The Midwest: The Use of New Technology
The Costs of Clearcutting
Environmental Effects on Midwest Forests
The South: The Impact of Clearcutting the Southern Forests
Early Conservation Initiatives
The Rocky Mountain Region and the Pacific Northwest: Early Nineteenth Century Logging in the Northwest
The Impact of New Technology
The Conservation Movement: Conservation and the New Deal The Environmental Movement and Its Aftermath
2 Wildlife and Wildlife Habitat Introduction: The Loss of Habitat Early History: Early American Hunting and Trapping
Early Wildlife Laws Hunting and Conservation: Game Birds
Early Conservation Movement to Save the Birds
Hunting Bison
Early Conservation: The Bison
The Nation's First Refuges for Wildlife Hunting and Conservation: Hunting Predators
Efforts to Protect Wildlife and Waterfoul Habitat Aldo Leopold and the Advent of an Environmental Consciousness
The Environmental Movement and the Protection of Wildlife: Endangered Species
3 Water and Drinking Water Quality Introduction: Human Consumption
The Natural Water Cycle
The Contribution of Beavers History of Urban Water Use: Boston
New York
Atlanta Water Works, Sewage Treatment, and Public Health: The West
4 Air Quality and Air Pollution Introduction: Early History
Carbon Fuel Sources
Early History of Smoke Pollution
Smoke's Medical Benefits History of Urban Air Quality: Chicago
St. Louis and Pittsburgh
The Donora Catastrophe
Los Angeles Smog Clean Air Act and Amendments: The Acid Rain Controversy
How Clean is Clean Enough?
The Contribution of Our Energy-Hungry Society to the Phenomenon of Global Warming: The Atlantic Conveyer and Its Effect on Climate Change
United States Contribution to Atmospheric Warming