Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World (The Global Century Series)

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W. W. Norton, 2000 - Science - 448 pages

"One of those rare books that’s both sweeping and specific, scholarly and readable…What makes the book stand out is its wealth of historical detail." —Elizabeth Kolbert, The New Yorker

The history of the twentieth century is most often told through its world wars, the rise and fall of communism, or its economic upheavals. In his startling book, J. R. McNeill gives us our first general account of what may prove to be the most significant dimension of the twentieth century: its environmental history. To a degree unprecedented in human history, we have refashioned the earth's air, water, and soil, and the biosphere of which we are a part. Based on exhaustive research, McNeill's story—a compelling blend of anecdotes, data, and shrewd analysis—never preaches: it is our definitive account.

This is a volume in The Global Century Series (general editor, Paul Kennedy).

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User Review  - WildcatJF - LibraryThing

McNeill's approach is unique; he tackles the topic of environmental history through the environmental spheres. He looks at soil separately, then air, water, life, etc. It has a wide breadth of ... Read full review

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User Review  - KeithAkers - LibraryThing

What I learned from this book is that the 20th century is not just "business as usual," much as that term is used in a derogatory way today among environmentalists. Humans really had a very profound ... Read full review

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About the author (2000)

J. R. McNeill is a professor of history at Georgetown University. He is the author of award-winning works in world and environmental history. These include The Human Web: A Bird’s-Eye View of World History (co-authored with his father and world history pioneer, William H. McNeill), and Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World, both published by Norton. McNeill is a recent past president of the American Historical Association.

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