“It is people such as Lewis, and the debate that books like this can initiate, that have the potential to make a real difference to difficult and chronic global problems....this book is user-friendly for lay-readers, thanks in no small measure to the author’s superb story-telling ability.”
“Michael Lewis’s book addresses an important area of interest in Indian ecology—how institutions and personalities—both domestic and international—have shaped the conservation ethic in India from Independence to the current era of U.S.-dominated wildlife ecology.”
“This extremely well-written book is engaging, creatively researched, and a welcome contribution to the twentieth-century history of both Indian wildlife conservation and the rise of biodiversity conservation ideas globally.”
American Historical Review
Blue jeans, MTV, Coca-Cola, and… ecology? We don't often think of conservation sciences as a U.S. export, but in the second half of the twentieth century an astounding array of scientists and ideas flowed out from the United States into the world, preaching the gospel of conservation-oriented ecology.
Inventing Global Ecology grapples with how we should understand the development of global ecology in the twentieth century—a science that is held responsible for, literally, saving the world. Is the spread of ecology throughout the globe a subtle form of cultural imperialism, as some claim? Or is it a manifestation of an increasingly globalized world, where ideas, people, and things move about with greater freedom than ever before?
Using India as the case study, Professor Michael Lewis considers the development of conservation policies and conservation sciences since the end of World War II and the role of United States scientists, ideas, and institutions in this process. Was India subject to a subtle form of Americanization, or did Indian ecologists develop their own agenda, their own science, and their own way of understanding (and saving) the natural world? Does nationality even matter when doing ecology?
This readable narrative will carry you through the first fifty years of independent India, from the meadows of the Himalayan Mountains to the rainforests of southern India, from Gandhi and Nehru to Project Tiger. Of equal interest to the general reader, to scientists, and to scholars of history and globalization, Inventing Global Ecology combines ethnographic fieldwork and oral history conducted in India and the United States, as well as traditional archival research.
An assistant professor of history at Salisbury University, Salisbury, Maryland, Michael Lewis trained first as a biologist and later in American studies. Inventing Global Ecology comes out of research conducted in India. More info →
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The Game of Conservation is a brilliantly crafted and highly readable examination of nature protection around the world. Twentieth-century nature conservation treaties often originated as attempts to regulate the pace of killing rather than as attempts to protect animal habitat.
The Eisenhower administration's intervention in Guatemala is one of the most closely studied covert operations in the history of the Cold War. Yet we know far more about the 1954 coup itself than its aftermath. This book uses the concept of “counterrevolution” to trace the Eisenhower administration's efforts to restore U.S. hegemony in a nation whose reform governments had antagonized U.S. economic interests and the local elite. Comparing the Guatemalan case to U.S.-sponsored
History · Americas · Central America · Guatemala · American History · International Studies · Political Science · Latin American Studies · Latin American History · International History · Violence in Society
In 1800, the highlands of Sri Lanka had some of the most biologically diverse primary tropical rainforest ecosystems in the world. By 1900, only a few craggy corners and mountain caps had been spared the fire stick. Highland villagers, through the extension of slash-and-burn agriculture, and British managers, through the creation of plantations—first of coffee, then cinchona, and finally tea—had removed virtually the entire primary forest cover.
Whether romantic or tragic, accounts of the dramatic events surrounding the North American Dust Bowl of the “dirty thirties” unearthed anxieties buried deep in America's ecological imagination. Moreover, the images of a landscape of fear remain embedded in the national consciousness today. In vivid form, the aesthetic of suffering captured in Dorothea Lange's photographs and Woody Guthrie's folk songs created the myths and memories of the Depression generation.