Human Ecology

, Volume 37, Issue 5, pp 671–673 | Cite as

I. G. Simmons: Global Environmental History

University of Chicago Press, 2008, 254 pp + glossary and index
  • Gary Kroll

Both human ecology and environmental history excel at monographic treatments of limited time and place—an artifact, perhaps, of academia. So it remains to the senior scholars of broad reading and experience to take on the task of synthesizing the work of many. I. G. Simmons’ latest work, Global Environmental History, is the first single-authored volume on a subject that has enjoyed considerable growth over the last 10 years. Writing synthetic histories of global scope across recent geological time must be as fulfilling as it is daunting. Much depends on the organizational schema of the historian.

Simmons has chosen, appropriately enough, to use the agricultural and industrial revolutions as pivots, giving us chapters on gatherer-hunters, pre-industrial agriculture, the industrial world, and the post-industrial age. The structure seems to loosely follow Donald Worster’s now classic call for environmental historians to pursue an agro-ecological approach, but Simmons adds a nice touch by...

Alf Hornborg, J. R. McNeill, and Joan Martinez-Alier (eds.): Rethinking Environmental History: World-System History and Global Environmental Change

Altamira Press, 2007, Globalization and the Environment Series, 389 pp + index

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SUNY PlattsburghPlattsburghUSA

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