Cover image for Encyclopedia of world environmental history
Encyclopedia of world environmental history
Krech, Shepard, 1944-
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, [2004]

Physical Description:
3 volumes : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
General Note:
"A Berkshire Reference work."
v. 1. A-E -- v. 2. F-N -- v. 3. O-Z.



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GF10 .E63 2004 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
GF10 .E63 2004 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize
GF10 .E63 2004 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize

On Order



While the relationship between man and nature has been a constant feature of the human situation, the human impact on the environment has only recently become a topic of general interest to students, as well as to scholars and professionals in disciplines across the board.
This three-volume set, written by a team of international experts, provides not only broad historical coverage on how human beliefs and actions have altered the natural world, but also covers the latest developments in the field. An analysis of natural phenomena and events and their impact on human societies is also included.

For a full list of entries, contributors, and more, visit the Encyclopedia of World Environmental History website.

Also includes 20 maps.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Aimed at a broad audience of students, scholars, professionals, and general readers, this reference work contains 520 signed articles providing current, comprehensive coverage of environmental history from ancient times to the present. The well-written, alphabetically arranged articles range in length from one column to multiple pages. Interdisciplinary and cross-cultural in approach, the encyclopedia covers a broad range of general topics, including arts, literature, biomes, climate, natural events, economic systems, energy, ancient civilizations, exploitation, philosophies, law, people, plants, animals, nonliving resources, places, religion, technology, and science. Examples of specific articles are Animal rights, Aristotle, Buddhism, Coffee, Danube River, Ecofeminism, Eden, Environmental ethics, Free trade, Germany, Global warming, Pleistocene overkill, Snail darter, Trans-Alaska pipeline, and Wilderness. The text is augmented by 20 maps and more than 100 photographs. Some 115 sidebars provide engaging supplemental material, including extracts from historical documents, firsthand accounts, ethnographic accounts, environmental literature, poetry, and religious traditions. Suggestions for further reading accompany each article. Although the index to this otherwise excellent encyclopedia is adequate, it could use some improvement. For example, the index heading doves, house should be dove, rock. Two pages are listed in the index for Arne Naess, but references to him in the article on deep ecology, of which he is a prominent philosopher, are missed. Further, the index does not indicate main entries. Environmental history should be of great interest to anyone concerned with our present global environmental dilemmas. The Encyclopedia of World Environmental History is a worthwhile investment for those in need of a scholarly reference source on this timely topic as there are no other single works that provide comparable breadth and authoritative coverage. It is recommended for academic, public, and special libraries. -- RBB Copyright 2004 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Editors Krech (anthropology, Brown Univ.; The Ecological Indian), J.R. McNeil (history, Georgetown Univ.; Something New Under the Sun), and Carolyn Merchant (environmental history, philosophy, & ethics, Berkeley; Reinventing Eden) have compiled a three-volume set tracing the interaction of humankind and nature over the course of history. The introduction presents a solid overview of the emergence of environmental history as a global field of scholarship. Over 500 signed articles by international scholars, which vary in length from one to ten pages, cover such general topics as climate, law and regulation, nations and regions, places and events, deceased environmentalists, and religion. Black-and-white maps and photographs accompany the text, as do sidebars that feature extracts from historical documents, environmental literature, and religious traditions. Each entry has a bibliography. As with all "world" history works, there will be different opinions regarding what is included and what is not. For example, there are lengthy entries on North America, the United States, and Asia but not South America as a whole. The Sierra Nevada mountains are included but not the Alps or the Urals. There is an entry for sweet potato but not for corn. Few non-American conservationists are profiled, which is disappointing given the global intent of the work. Some of the same information is found in Gale's two-volume Environmental Encyclopedia, 2d ed., and Salem's three-volume Natural Resources, edited by Mark Coyne and Craig W. Allin, but overall much is unique to this source. Entries on specific countries and their environmental policies and histories are among the most useful. Buy where demand is high for environmental histories in large public and academic libraries.-Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

The large body of thought and information in environmental history, recognized as a separate discipline since the 1970s, is celebrated in this encyclopedia. Environmental history (EH), defined broadly as the study of past human interactions with nature, overlaps with other fields such as anthropology, ecology, and political science and includes social issues. This encyclopedia will be welcomed by students and scholars who can benefit from the presentation of EH in a separate comprehensive source. Among the numerous topics covered are agriculture, air pollution, automobiles, biodiversity, consumer movements, EPA, fishing, reforestation, soil, and sprawl. The entries (about 450) are arranged alphabetically, with headwords and other terms accessible from the index. Entries range in length from one to ten pages, including see also references and lists of further readings. Although the encyclopedia provides extensive coverage of EH, some areas are disappointing. Indexing is incomplete: the index points to only three cursory treatments of grazing, but that term occurs in other entries; in fact, the concept is so important, grazing should have its own entry. "Overkill" is not indexed despite being mentioned in the article on "Great Auk." Selection of species for main entries is unclear: dogs, sea turtles, and salmon are given separate entries but not wolves. "Cancer" is indexed only in the entry for tobacco, although other environmental toxins have been implicated in its occurrence. Plastics are scarcely mentioned and conservation biology not at all. Entries are uneven in quality, partly because of the large number of contributors. Some entries provide excellent coverage; others are less thorough and may provide definition, geographical description, natural history, and technology-related discussion, but little history. Extractive industry problems are not well covered, nor are environmentally related human health problems. Some entries dismiss subjects as controversial or political instead of analyzing the environmental problem. The publisher had the foresight to create a Web site where users can provide feedback for the next edition. Despite its problems this work is unique and will be useful to scholars, students, and policy analysts. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Academic and larger public libraries. T. McKimmie New Mexico State University

Table of Contents

Contents: Entries include: Acid Rain
Air Pollution
Alternative Energy
Central Asia
Debt for Nature
Environmenta l Law
Environmental Crime
Green Revolution
Global Warming
Gulf War
Law of the Sea
Roman Empire
Social Ecology
World Trade Organization
World Wildlife Fund
And many more