Among the most far-reaching effects of the modern environmental movement was the widespread acknowledgment that human beings were inescapably part of a larger ecosystem. With this book, Linda Nash gives us a wholly original and much longer history of “ecological” ideas of the body as that history unfolded in California’s Central Valley. Taking us from nineteenth-century fears of miasmas and faith in wilderness cures to the recent era of chemical pollution and cancer clusters, Nash charts how Americans have connected their diseases to race and place as well as dirt and germs. In this account, the rise of germ theory and the pushing aside of an earlier environmental approach to illness constituted not a clear triumph of modern biomedicine but rather a brief period of modern amnesia. As Nash shows us, place-based accounts of illness re-emerged in the postwar decades, galvanizing environmental protest against smog and toxic chemicals. Carefully researched and richly conceptual, Inescapable Ecologies brings critically important insights to the histories of environment, culture, and public health, while offering a provocative commentary on the human relationship to the larger world.
List of Illustrations
1. Body and Environment in an Era of Colonization
2. Placing Health and Disease
3. Producing a Sanitary Landscape
4. Modern Landscapes and Ecological Bodies
5. Contesting the Space of Disease
Linda Nash is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Washington.
"A breath-taking first book. Nash does a terrific job."—Vicki Ruiz, author of From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America
"An excellent book that treats environmental history in a fresh new way."—Elliott West, author of The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers and the Rush to Colorado
"This book brilliantly fits human bodies into environmental history and finds a place for landscape in the history of medicine."—Warwick Anderson, author of Colonial Pathologies: American Tropical Medicine, Race, and Hygiene in the Philippines
John Dunning Prize, American Historical Association
Pacific Coast Branch Award of the AHA, Paciffic Coast Branch, AHA
Add source code 13W4795 to get your discount at checkout.
Cannot be combined with any other offers.
Members receive 20-40% discounts on book purchases. Find out more