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Pests in the City: Flies, Bedbugs, Cockroaches, and Rats (Weyherhaeuser Environmental Books) Hardcover – 18 Aug 2014

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press (18 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0295993014
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295993010
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 16.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,899,958 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"We live with these species on a daily basis, yet no one has told their story before. This fascinating book shows us that while the homes and neighborhoods of twentieth-century America destroyed the habitats of some species, they also created new habitats for others. Biehler has given urban history a whole new set of actors." --Linda Nash, University of Washington "Re-centering the narrative about the origins of Rachel Carson's famous book, Dawn Day Biehler successfully opens a new perspective, less about the pesticides--a history we assume we know--and more about the pests themselves. In so doing, Pests in the City illuminates critical points in the twentieth-century interaction between ecology and public health. Its original and compelling blend of themes and questions makes it likely to join environmental history's most innovative ranks." --Chris Sellers, Stony Brook University "The environmental history of people and animals has for too long focused on charismatic megafauna--wolves, grizzlies, cougars--when in fact the day-to-day lives of a great many people are much more intimately involved with less fearsome but rather more troublesome creatures. In this fascinating and important book, Dawn Day Biehler brilliantly demonstrates how much we can learn about environmental politics and social justice by studying the pests who share our urban homes with us." --William Cronon

About the Author

Dawn Day Biehler is assistant professor of geography and environmental studies at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She lives with her family in Washington, D.C.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Urban ecology 21 Jan. 2014
By Drew Alfgren - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(Disclaimer: I work at the same university as the author.) There are all sorts of books out there that attempt to document the urban experience, this is one that integrates social, political, environmental, and economic history through the lens of pest control. Biehler does a fine job of walking the reader through the successes (some) and failures (many) of attempts to control the big four household pests: flies, bedbugs, cockroaches, and rats, highlighting the interaction of the many forces at work when dealing with all those critters that nobody likes. Racial and economic inequality, social attitudes, political and scientific prejudices, nature and evolution all play a part. Very readable, with an interesting arrangement and extensive documentation.
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