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Natural Causes


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About the Author

James O'Connor, PhD, is co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Capitalism, Nature, Socialism: A Journal of Socialist Ecology, and Director of the Center for Political Ecology in Santa Cruz, California. He is retired from teaching sociology, economics, and environmental studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz.


"It represents a significant contribution to environmental social theory. The book is impressive above all for the strong case it makes that environmental questions need to be viewed as "social" and "political" ones, and for its insistence that contemporary political-economic forms-especially the global reach of neo-liberal capitalism-bear much of the blame for current environmental problems. It's impressive, too, for its unabashed use of Marxist methodology and terminology to make its arguments, in an intellectual climate in which many sympathetic to such views tend to hold their cards closer to their chests....any reader interested in the relevance of Marxist theory to environmentalism, and more broadly any reader concerned to understand environmental questions as social and political ones, will gain much from this book." --"Environmental Ethics"
"To read this book is to come into contact with a creative and powerful intellect." --"Journal of World History"
"Provocative....The book should help dispel suspicions that the post-1989 green turn' of many socialists was opportunistic. Recommended for graduate students and faculty." --"Choice"
"College-level students of Marxist theory will welcome a coverage which links business and political policies with issues of environmental and social change. Complex and revealing, backed with many source material facts." --"The Midwest Book Review"
"One of the foremost Marxist social scientists in the United States, James O'Connor has produced many original insights into the political economy of the United States, and global capitalism...."Natural Causes,.".provid[es] an excellent opportunity to assess his considerable contributions toeco-Marxist theory and practice...."Natural Causes" is a rich source of insights." --"Monthly Review"

"James O'Connor's work is distinctive in that it constitutes the first fully developed, concrete analysis of how the undermining of the environment is actually undermining the conditions of production of the global capitalist society in which we live, threatening the very process of capital accumulation that lies at the heart of the modern world economy.... Brilliantly argued, O'Connor's work constitutes the indispensable starting point for a consideration of the interrelationship of socioeconomic and environmental crises in our time, and will be of immense interest to readers coming from a wide variety of perspectives. Readers of this volume will discover a rich body of work delving into a wide range of environmental problems, from environmental justice, to the Gulf War, to 'What is Ecological Socialism?'. This is a treasure-trove of environmental thought by one of the great social theorists of our day." --John Bellamy Foster, Co-Editor, Organization & Environment; author of The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment

"The neo-liberal pundits who dance on Marx's grave will hate this book. Whether exposing the hidden logic of the Gulf War or deciphering the relations of production in a new-growth forest, Natural Causes is an intellectual tour de force. James O'Connor, once again, demonstrates that he is America's most original social theorist." --Mike Davis, author of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear

"The good news is that the environmental and socialist movements are beginning to create a dialogue, which can immeasurably strengthen both. James O'Connor has been one of the country's leading intellectual figures in that dialogue, and his new book shows, in a compelling, sophisticated way, how both movements must come together." --Donald Worster, Hall Distinguished Professor of American History, University of Kansas

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