China (inbunden)
Inbunden (Hardback)
Antal sidor
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
29 black & white illustrations, 35 maps
266 x 190 x 31 mm
952 g
Antal komponenter
China (inbunden)


Its Environment and History

Inbunden Engelska, 2011-12-16


This deeply informed and beautifully written book provides a comprehensive and comprehensible history of China from prehistory to the present. Focusing on the interaction of humans and their environment, Robert B. Marks traces changes in the physical and cultural world that is home to a quarter of humankind. Through both word and image, this work illuminates the chaos and paradox inherent in China's environmental narrative, demonstrating how historically sustainable practices can, in fact, be profoundly ecologically unsound. The author also reevaluates China's traditional "heroic" storyline, highlighting the marginalization of nature that followed the spread of Chinese civilization while examining the development of a distinctly Chinese way of relating to and altering the environment. Unmatched in his ability to synthesize a complex subject clearly and cogently, Marks has written an accessible yet nuanced history for any reader interested in China, past or present. Indeed he argues successfully that all of humanity has a stake in China's environmental future.
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Fler böcker av Robert B Marks

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Based in part on the author's earlier, more technical book, Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (1997), this new volume presents for a more general audience the parallel story lines of episodic and long-term ecological damage and the equally long-term success of the Chinese agricultural system. Marks (Whittier College) clearly highlights the symbiotic relationship between family farming and the strategic interests of the bureaucratic state since the Qin and Han empires, and stresses the interactive role of 'Chinese' and 'non-Chinese' in 'China's' agricultural and ecological change. He places the People's Republic of China at the end of an environmental saga in four premodern stages: the growth of millet-based farming communities in the Neolithic period; the rise of the imperial state from 1000 BCE to 300 CE; the rise of high-yielding wet-rice agriculture from 300 to 1300 CE; and the increasingly unsustainable population growth of the late empire from 1300 to 1800. Marks concludes with the modern era, focusing on the PRC's huge organizational capacity to industrialize the Chinese economy. He very capably sifts through the immense secondary literature on Chinese social, political, economic, and environmental history to present a very useful synopsis of the state of the field. Summing Up: Recommended. Most levels/libraries. CHOICE Robert Marks's book is a superb synthesis of the English-language literature on Chinese environmental history. In eight succinct but fact-filled chapters, Marks covers the entire period from ancient China to the present in a fluently written, balanced, and accessible manner. For the first time, general readers can gain a sophisticated overview of Chinese interactions with their landscapes, their manipulation of natural resources, and their exploitation and destruction of both. Anyone seeking to understand how the long course of China's history has produced the current environmental crises must consult this book... Marks devotes three of his eight chapters to the last two centuries, embracing the entire period of industrialization, revolution, and devastation. No one has covered the modern period in such insightful detail... Its continuous story of intensified environmental pressure, as documented in this brilliant analysis, carries disturbing lessons of all of us. -- Peter C. Perdue Journal of Asian Studies A broad survey of Chinese ecological history that encompasses more than 4000 years, Robert Marks' China: Its Environment and History provides a much-needed bridge between narratives of China's political, social, and economic history and its environmental history. It focuses on the relationship between humans and the environment, and emphasizes the transformative impact of civilizational forces such as agricultural production, deforestation, and water management, on China's natural environment. Marks illustrates the reciprocal relationship between humans and the environment by noting how human responses to natural forces, particularly climate change, instigated ecological transformations. Major themes include the ecological impacts of agriculture, warfare, technological advances, urbanization, the rise and fall of empire, and population growth. Intentional and unintentional effects of these anthropogenic forces include deforestation, soil erosion, flooding, the spread of disease, the depletion of natural resources, and the endangerment of wild animal species...While the book's major focus is assessing the anthropogenic causes of environmental change, it is effective in presenting cultural attitudes towards the environment, from ancient ideas about nature to modern forms of environmentalism...The individual chapters could supplement world history courses, as many general textbooks lack an assessment of East Asian environmental history. Overall, the book provides an ecological backstory that would complement any world history survey. Middle Ground Marks mak

Övrig information

Robert B. Marks is Richard and Billie Deihl Professor of History at Whittier College.


Chapter 1: Introduction: Problems and Perspectives Chapter 2: China's Natural Environment and Early Human Settlement to 1000 BCE Chapter 3: States, Wars, and Farms: Environmental Change in Ancient and Early Imperial China, 1000 BCE-300 CE Chapter 4: Deforesting the North and Colonizing the South in the Middle Imperial Period, 300-1300 CE Chapter 5: Empire and Environment: China's Borderlands, Islands, and Inner Peripheries in Late Imperial China, 1300-1800 CE Chapter 6: Environmental Degradation in Modern China, 1800-1949 Chapter 7: Controlling Nature in the People's Republic of China, 1949-Present Chapter 8: Conclusion: China and Its Environment in World Historical Perspective