Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey, “Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India” (Harvard UP, 2018)
Is India facing a waste crisis? As its population, cities and consumption grow what are the implications for the health, well being and everyday lives of Indians? In Waste of a Nation: Growth and Garbage in India (Harvard University Press, 2018), Assa Doron and Robin Jeffrey discuss the genealogy of garbage and... Read More
Peter Sahlins, “1668: The Year of the Animal in France” (Zone Books, 2017)
Peter Sahlins’s 1668: The Year of the Animal in France (Zone Books, 2017) is a captivating look at the role of animals in court and salon culture in the first decades of Louis XIV’s reign in France.  Focusing on the years in and around 1668, Sahlins shows how deeply the king, the... Read More
Brian James Leech, “The City That Ate Itself: Butte, Montana and Its Expanding Berkeley Pit” (U Nevada Press, 2018)
The plight of today’s coal miners has gained significant attention in recent U.S. politics. As coal mining practices and technologies change in the United States, coal miners face job reductions, but their futures are wrapped up in broader national questions surrounding global trade, the environment, mechanization, and deindustrialization. In his... Read More
Andrew Needham, “Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest” (Princeton UP, 2016)
Researching and writing about infrastructure is a tall task. Infrastructure’s vastness, complexity, and, if it’s functioning, invisibility can defy narratives. Andrew Needham, however, succeeds beautifully. His book, called Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest (Princeton University Press, 2016), tells the important and dramatic story of how... Read More
Melanie A. Kiechle, “Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America” (U Washington Press, 2017)
Melanie Kiechle‘s Smell Detectives: An Olfactory History of Nineteenth-Century Urban America (University of Washington Press, 2017) takes us into the cellars, rivers, gutters and similar smelly recesses of American cities in the 19th century. In the decades on either side of the fulcrum between “miasma theory” and the modern germ... Read More
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