New Books Network

Kate Brown, “Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters” (Oxford UP, 2013)
Kate Brown‘s Plutopia: Nuclear Families, Atomic Cities, and the Great Soviet and American Plutonium Disasters (Oxford University Press, 2013)┬áis a tale of two atomic cities–one in the US (Richland, Washington) and one in the Soviet Union (Ozersk, Russia)–united by their production of plutonium. Seeking the security they believed could come... Read More
Michael Ruse, “The Gaia Hypothesis: Science on a Pagan Planet” (University of Chicago Press, 2013)
In The Gaia Hypothesis: Science on a Pagan Planet (University of Chicago Press, 2013), Michael Ruse offers a fascinating history of the Gaia Hypothesis in the context of the transformations of professional and public engagements with science and technology in the 1960s. Based on an archive that spans texts, oral... Read More
Clive Hamilton, “Earthmasters: The Dawn of the Age of Climate Engineering” (Yale UP, 2013)
It’s getting warmer, there ain’t no doubt about it. What are we going to do? Most folks say we should cut back on bad things like carbon emissions. That would probably be a good idea. The trouble is we would have to cut back on all the good things that... Read More
Jessica Teisch, “Engineering Nature: Water Development and the Global Spread of American Environmental Expertise” (UNC Press, 2011)
Jessica Teisch‘s new book Engineering Nature: Water Development and the Global Spread of American Environmental Expertise (University of North Carolina Press, 2011) examines the ways that Californian engineers attempted to reshape their world in the late 19th century. Engineered irrigation appealed to both private individuals and the state as a... Read More
Jen Huntley, “The Making of Yosemite: James Mason Hutchings and the Origins of America’s Most Popular National Park” (UP of Kansas, 2011)
I used to hike in and around Yosemite National Park. To me (and I imagine thousands of other visitors), Yosemite was the embodiment of “nature,” something grand, pristine, and, well “natural.” Of course there is a sense in which that is true: Yosemite was not made by the hand of... Read More
Char Miller, “Public Lands, Public Debates: A Century of Controversy” (Oregon State UP, 2012)
From illicit marijuana farms wedged deep in the canyons of the Angeles National Forest to the fire-bombed laboratories of the University of Washington, Char Miller takes readers on a wild romp through the contests, debates, and full-out battles that have surrounded American public lands for over a century in Public... Read More
Anthony Penna, “The Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History” (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
One of the most disturbing insights made by practitioners of “Big History” is that the distinction between geologic time and human time has collapsed in our era. The forces that drove geologic time–plate tectonics, the orientation of the Earth’s axis relative to the sun, volcanic activity–were distinct from the forces... Read More