New Books Network

Valerie Olson, “Into the Extreme: U.S. Environmental Systems and Politics Beyond Earth” (U Minnesota Press, 2018)
What if outer space is not outside the human environment but, rather, defines it? This is the unusual starting point of Valerie Olson’s Into the Extreme: U.S. Environmental Systems and Politics Beyond Earth (U Minnesota Press, 2018), revealing how outer space contributes to making what counts as the scope and... Read More
Kristina M. Lyons, “Vital Decomposition: Soil Practitioners and Life Politics” (Duke UP, 2020)
In Colombia, decades of social and armed conflict and the US-led war on drugs have created a seemingly untenable situation for scientists and rural communities as they attempt to care for forests and grow non-illicit crops. In her new book Vital Decomposition: Soil Practitioners and Life Politics (Duke University Press,... Read More
Kristin J. Jacobson, “The American Adrenaline Narrative” (U Georgia Press, 2020)
Kristin J. Jacobson In her new book, The American Adrenaline Narrative (University of Georgia Press), Kristin Jacobson considers the nature of perilous outdoor adventure tales, their gendered biases, and how they simultaneously promote and hinder ecological sustainability. To explore these themes, Jacobson defines and compares adrenaline narratives by a range... Read More
Daniel Macfarlane, “Fixing Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall” (UBC Press, 2020)
Water and diplomatic historian Dan MacFarlane has written a fascinating book on a fundamental debate in environmental history: What is a natural landscape? Fixing Niagara Falls: Environment, Energy, and Engineers at the World’s Most Famous Waterfall (UBC Press, 2020) argues that one of the world’s most famous natural attractions is... Read More
Thom van Dooren, “The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds” (Columbia UP, 2019)
Crows can be found almost everywhere that people are, from tropical islands to deserts and arctic forests, from densely populated cities to suburbs and farms. Across these diverse landscapes, many species of crow are doing well: their intelligent and adaptive ways of life have allowed them to thrive amid human-driven... Read More
Elizabeth Ferry and Stephen Ferry, “La Batea” (Red Hook, 2017)
La Batea is an unconventional book. A collaboration between anthropologist Elizabeth Ferry and her photographer brother Stephen, it combines text and images to paint a picture of the lives of small-scale miners in Colombia in a unique and powerful way. Moreover, the book is physically designed to pull the reader... Read More
Andrew C. Isenberg, “The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920” (Cambridge UP, 2000)
In 1800, tens of millions of bison roamed the North American Great Plains. By 1900, fewer than 1,000 remained. In The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750-1920 (Cambridge UP, 2000), the University of Kansas Hall Distinguished Professor of History Andrew C. Isenberg explains how this ecological calamity came... Read More
Noam Chomsky and Robert Pollin, “Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet” (Verso Books, 2020)
In Climate Crisis and the Global Green New Deal: The Political Economy of Saving the Planet (Verso Books, 2020), Noam Chomsky, the world’s leading public intellectual, and Robert Pollin, the renowned progressive economist, map out the catastrophic consequences of unchecked climate change—and present a realistic blueprint for change: the Green... Read More
Debjani Bhattacharyya, “Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta” (Cambridge UP, 2019)
Debjani Bhattacharyya’s Empire and Ecology in the Bengal Delta: The Making of Calcutta (Cambridge University Press) asks: What happens when a distant colonial power tries to tame an unfamiliar terrain in the world’s largest tidal delta? This history of dramatic ecological changes in the Bengal Delta from 1760 to 1920... Read More
Brian Eyler, “Last Days of the Mighty Mekong” (Zed Book, 2019)
The Mekong River is one of the world’s great rivers. From its source in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau it snakes down through southern China and then borders or runs through all the countries of mainland Southeast Asia: Myanmar, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam. Almost 70 million people depend either directly or... Read More