24 Mar 2010

Green History


Would I want you to buy this, no actually. Most of the copies are a bit pricy which embarrasses me but its in the library system so go and social share it if you are interested.

Put it together because I thought it would be good to look at the historical examples of green thought and action, to reject the view that green politics has no history approach.

Spent a lot of time in the British Library, which was then in the British Museum, my idea of fun.

Published back in 1993, when my first son Vince was born, a while ago.

There is a battle for ideas, writing is a small contribution...which is going to have to be won or we will consign human society and the rest of nature to degradation. Even the Spectator like it



Derek Wall has assembled some compelling writing to underline how environmental concerns are as old as civilisation itself ... He teases out the beginnings of strands now present in current debate. This is a timely book. - Tribune

Derek Wall illustrates the history of the environmental debate in this excellent anthology of writings ranging from Sappho and St Augustine to Sismondi and Schumacher. - The Ecologist

If youre after a wider and deeper understanding of the green movement and its history, this is for you. - The Herald, Glasgow

This book contains much that is fascinating and thought-provoking even to someone who thinks they are well-acquainted with the field, and is likely to start more trains of thought than slow them. Surely the intention of all concerned. Take a dip yourself!. - Venue

This book needed writing. It kills off the flip political assumption that environmental concern has no past. We must be grateful to Mr Wall for steering a path through what turns out to be a vast literature - for what is effectively the first time. - The Spectator

Where Green History really scores is the way in which Derek Wall binds together that would otherwise be interesting but frustratingly disconnected literary snippets. His chapter introductions are extremely helpful in linking the separate parts to what emerges as the `green whole. - Jonathon Porritt, BBC Wildlife Magazine --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


Green History...traces the development of ecological writing through history and forms a broad critical review of green ideas and movements reinforcing the importance of environmental concern and action in our own time. Animal rights, ecology as science, feminism, green facism/socialism/anarchism, land reform, peaceful protest, industrialisation, ancient ecology, evolution, grassroots activism, philosophical holism, recycling, Taoism, demographics, utopias, sustainability, spiritualism...all these issues and many more are discussed. Authors include Alice Walker on massacre in the City of Brotherly Love, Aldous Huxley on progress, Lewis Mumford on the organic outlook, Engels on natural dialectics, Thoreau on the fontier life, the Shelleys on vegetarianism and playing God, Bacon on the New Atlantis, Hildegard of Bingen on green vigour, the unknown writer of the Bodhisattva and the Hungry Tigress and Plato on soil erosion. Each article is set within its historical and thematic context. A full introduction and a guide to further reading are also provided.

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