J. R. McNeill and George Vrtis, (Eds): Mining North America. An Environmental History since 1522
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In Andrew C. Isenberg’s Afterword to Mining North America, he catalogues how mining-driven colonialism (and imperialism) established patronage networks at the ideological center of developing North American communities, rewriting collective memories of mining in the process. These romantic illusions, Isenberg, argues, are what an environmental history of mining must confront. The 17 contributing authors of Mining North America: An Environmental History Since 1522 do exactly this.
The subject is very broad and covers 500 years of history. Topics range from productivity to capitalism to comparative regulatory regimes to industrialization to injustice. The work explores a wide swath of materials including asbestos, iron, gold, uranium, copper, and petroleum. It covers an equally broad historical geography: from the gold-seeking Spanish conquistadors in Mexico to asbestos-seeking American industrialists in Canada. While far from comprehensive, the range of the book’s historical cameos...
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