The Progressive Environmental Prometheans

Left-Wing Heralds of a “Good Anthropocene”

  • William B. Meyer

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. William B. Meyer
    Pages 1-51
  3. Back Matter
    Pages 211-220

About this book


This book is devoted to the exploration of environmental Prometheanism, the belief that human beings can and should master nature and remake it for the better. Meyer considers, among others, the question of why Prometheanism today is usually found on the political right while environmentalism is on the left. 

Chapters examine the works of leading Promethean thinkers of nineteenth and early and mid-twentieth century Britain, France, America, and Russia and how they tied their beliefs about the earth to a progressive, left-wing politics. Meyer reconstructs the logic of this “progressive Prometheanism” and the reasons it has vanished from the intellectual scene today. 

The Progressive Environmental Prometheans broadens the reader’s understanding of the history of the ideas behind Prometheanism. This book appeals to anyone with an interest in environmental politics, environmental history, global history, geography and Anthropocene studies.

William B. Meyer is Associate Professor of Geography at Colgate University. He is the author of Human Impact on the Earth (1996), Americans and Their Weather: A History (2000; updated edition, 2014), and The Environmental Advantages of Cities (2013), as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters.


environmentalism philosophy Prometheanism progressivism political theory

Authors and affiliations

  • William B. Meyer
    • 1
  1. 1.HamiltonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages Social Sciences
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-29262-5
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-29263-2
  • Buy this book on publisher's site