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The Age of Ecology Paperback – 21 Feb 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 600 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (21 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074566217X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745662176
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 4.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,294,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

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Product Description

Review

"Radkau′s new book is by far the finest informative read availableon the environmental movement in its many diverse varieties fromits modern beginnings until now, and the women and men whosepassions inspired it. Protests and politics, activism and reaction,love of nature and hatred of pollution all are shown with aclarity that makes sense to the reader. This is the compellingglobal story of the most distinctive popular movement of our age,the Age of Ecology."
J. Donald Hughes, University of Denver

"With his customary synoptic vision and idiosyncratic eye fortelling detail, Radkau offers a revealing tableau of the multiplehistories of modern environmentalism in Europe, in America, andaround the world. The Age of Ecology is the mostthought–provoking and wide–ranging book yet on its subject."
J. R. McNeill, Georgetown University

"A comprehensive and compelling global history of environmentalmovements.′
Die Zeit

"An authoritative global history of ecology."
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

"Brilliant – by far the best account of the global environmentalmovement ... A great achievement."
Deutschlandradio Kultur --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Joachim Radkau is professor of modern history at BielefeldUniversity, Germany. His previous publications include Wood: AHistory and Max Weber: A Biography.
 
--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Prof TBun on 28 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
As an academic text Radkau's work certainly has much value. He is open and honest about his views, and there are plentiful references. However I would not recommend it to a general audience.

I do have some negative criticisms ..

Radkau calls his work a global history. It is perhaps disappointing then that it is not truly global and he does not want to admit to much earlier than the era of Franco-German romanticism. The national bias is obvious throughout as is the false belief that environmentalism is inherently socialist.

I could not help but feel that Radkau uses a lengthy critique of violent animal rights activists, as a means of deflecting attention away from violence by environmentalists.

My final criticism is that whilst nuclear fission is repeatedly presented as leading to political watersheds, Radkau simply dismisses fusion reactors as momentary pipe dream. This is a huge mistake as most atomic physicists continue to believe that their belief in fusion power remains correct and it is nothing other a lack of political will to properly fund the necessary research, that has held it back for so long. It may surprise people that now the EU invests almost as much into Fusion research as it does on researching all other sustainable energy sources put together. Green Party policy statements seem to take fusion seriously as a future power source, but are perversely in opposition to research funding on the grounds that it would not produce results quickly enough to prevent the immediate doomsday climate change scenario that they are trying so hard to sell to the electorate. I think that this clear evidence of how modern green politicians have become so hungry for electoral success that they will now always put propaganda before principle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By W. Rodick TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 25 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The most important words in this book are: 'the poor,' 'insatiable rulers' and 'cultural elite.' I write this review long before finishing the reading. The author has a fluent command of his territory. He is not banging a drum alone in a forest of complexity. Joachim Radkau writes from many sides. Recognizing that infinity does exist.

Did you know that at one time there was a campaign against masturbation in the eighteenth century? Such a level of detail derides exactly what it should deride. The contrast between the peasant who sustains a forest and 'voracious' industry which turned 'sustainability' into a non-trivial matter, fertilizes Rio from a great height.

It is a history book which was offered to me on the very day that I had voted for the Green Party in the EU elections. It is proving to be both an enjoyable and highly informative read. The German decision to end nuclear power station building had always intrigued me given that it seemed such a quick response to the Fukushima disaster in 2011. It turns out that the German government had not given approval for any nuclear power station since 1982. They were already on the case.

Of course any one group can feed off any one detail in history or in the present. A complete picture is a flawed picture. Being able to form a coherent narrative from the most salient elements of human to earth interaction seems to me the successful journey undertaken between the covers of 'The Age of Ecology.' Very highly recommended.

UPDATE: Finished reading this 431 page book some time back. I was engrossed until the end. What has stayed with me is the difficulty in defining what something we call 'ecology'actually is. The definitions, or perhaps directions is a better word, have changed over time. And we really don't know.
I wish the direction would be towards treating each other with respect and care, from that all else emanates. But that would be truly hard work especially at the beginning.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Old Grey Witch's Test VINE VOICE on 18 May 2014
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Speaking as someone who first became interested in the many facets of environmentalism back in the 1970s and whose entire life has been shaped by its beliefs, it is difficult to get across just what a disappointment this book is. Gone is the excitement of the scientific discovery of ecological laws, totally missing is the tension and tenacity that has been required to get our point across politically. In its place is the most tedious German prose style that reads more like a telephone directory than even the most mundane textbook. The book is nothing but a tedious trudge. Don't waste any paper buying it.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a translation of a book previously published in German, if anything has been added I can't tell having not read the original. But that does explain why the discussion only goes up to the 1990s.

It is a useful background the development of Ecology and the environmental movement. It is certainly thick enough to be pretty complete, although it does seem predominantly Western biased. Although it does discuss Japan at one point.
It warns against over simplification by looking at the past and comparing to the present.

This might form a useful book for a course or for academic libraries. However despite the attractive cover it is not really suitable for general reading. I also found the division of chapters really weird. Each time period considered is given its own chapter, and then each chapter is sub-divided into sections. This is a bit unwieldy, and I would rather have had the main sections for their own chapters, and these grouped into parts or sections. The first chapter as it is now is 73 pages long!

There is a lot of information here, and as such it needs in depth study. I haven't yet come across any helpful summaries, which is a pity.

This is a very thorough academic book, and a useful resource. But unless you are a specialist in this area or a student it may well not be the book for you.
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