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The Unending Frontier

"The Unending Frontier brings into focus the staggering environmental changes that came with the creation of the early modern world economy. John Richards assembles material from all around the world into a crisp and coherent picture of the meaning of global markets for the biosphere in the sixteenth through eighteenth centuries. This is a work of the first importance for environmental history, for economic history, and for world history."--John R. McNeill, author of "Something New under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World"A landmark book. Richards moves deftly among various ways of thinking about the early modern environment--national case studies, studies of particular industries, and reflections on increasing global interconnections--so that we get not only a wealth of important data and stories, but multiple perspectives on the topic as a whole. Both the breadth and the depth of the project are inspiring: people will learn new things about environmental change, even in their regions of specialization. But the biggest payoff is in the way Richards weaves environmental change into more familiar early modern stories of global trade, colonialism, technological change, and, above all, state formation. None of these topics will ever look quite the same again."--Kenneth Pomeranz, author of "The Great Divergence: Europe, China, and the Making of the Modern World Economy
Product Details

Table of Contents

List of Maps List of Tables Preface Introduction Part I. The Global Context 1. The Early Modern World 2. Climate and Early Modern World Environmental History Part II. Eurasia and Africa 3. Pioneer Settlement on Taiwan 4. Internal Frontiers and Intensified Land Use in China 5. Ecological Strategies in Tokugawa Japan 6. Landscape Change and Energy Transformation in the British Isles 7. Frontier Settlement in Russia 8. Wildlife and Livestock in South Africa Part III. The Americas 9. The Columbian Exchange: The West Indies 10. Ranching, Mining, and Settlement Frontiers in Colonial Mexico 11. Sugar and Cattle in Portuguese Brazil 12. Landscapes of Sugar in the Antilles Part IV. The World Hunt 13. Furs and Deerskins in Eastern North America 14. The Hunt for Furs in Siberia 15. Cod and the New World Fisheries 16. Whales and Walruses in the Northern Oceans Conclusion Bibliography Index

About the Author

John F. Richards is Professor of History at Duke University. He is the author of The Mughal Empire (1993) and Mughal Administration in Golconda (1975) and the editor of Land, Property and the Environment (2001). He is coeditor of World Deforestation in the Twentieth Century (1988) and Global Deforestation and the Nineteenth-Century World Economy (1983).


"Richards has an economical way of surveying vast amounts of evidence which makes it an easy and rewarding read."--"History Today"

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