War Capitalism: Notes on Sven Beckert’s Empire of Cotton #envhist

Sven Beckert’s Empire of Cotton examines the significant influence that the institution of slavery had on the foundation of the United States’ role in cotton production and dawning of global capitalism. In the years following the treaty of independence of 1783, the areas in the upper South where enslaved people were concentrated experienced a severe … Continue reading War Capitalism: Notes on Sven Beckert’s Empire of Cotton #envhist

Osnaburg Fabric: Garment for the Enslaved

It was the osnaburg nightshirt that failed to keep Moses Grandy’s enslaved brother warm when he died of exposure while trying to find a yoke of steers that had wandered into woods of the Great Dismal Swamp during the winter of 1795. That coarse, yet thin fabric had not been enough to keep the enslaved … Continue reading Osnaburg Fabric: Garment for the Enslaved

Notes on David Blackbourn’s “Conquest of Nature”

“The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape and the Making of Modern Germany,” by David Blackbourn tells the story of how Germans transformed their landscape over the course  of 250 years.[1] The modification of the landscape included reclaiming marshes, draining wetlands, stream restoration, and dam construction. These hydrological projects, Blackbourn informs, changed the face of the … Continue reading Notes on David Blackbourn’s “Conquest of Nature”

Notes on Thomas Rogers’ Deepest Wounds

Thomas Rogers’ “The Deepest Wounds: Labor and Environmental History of Sugar in Northeast Brazil” expands our knowledge in understanding the rupture, continuity and change in the zona da mata region of Brazil. Rogers’ foremost concern in the book is assessing the damage that monoculture did to landscape and society in the region as well as … Continue reading Notes on Thomas Rogers’ Deepest Wounds

Currently Reading…

The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History synthesizes developments and resources in the field. This volume presents a survey of environmental history including an overview of significant topics and themes as well as a compendium of historical actors and policy... Also reading Mockingbird Song: Ecological Landscapes of the South by the late Jack Temple Kirby. … Continue reading Currently Reading…

Notes on The Great Acceleration, by JR McNeil and Peter Engelke

"One can find reasons, as this book does, to prefer a more recent date for the beginning of the Anthropocene. Those reasons, in brief, are, first, that since the mid-twentieth century human action (unintentionally) has become the most important factor governing crucial biogeochemical cycles, to wit, the carbon cycle, the sulfur cycle, and the nitrogen … Continue reading Notes on The Great Acceleration, by JR McNeil and Peter Engelke