The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000 (Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books)

De (autor) William Cronon
Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Paperback – 2006 – vârsta de la 22 ani
The River Rhine is Europe’s most important commercial waterway, channeling the flow of trade among Switzerland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. In this innovative study, Mark Cioc focuses on the river from the moment when the Congress of Vienna established a multinational commission charged with making the river more efficient for purposes of trade and commerce in 1815. He examines the engineering and administrative decisions of the next century and a half that resulted in rapid industrial growth as well as profound environmental degradation, and highlights the partially successful restoration efforts undertaken from the 1970s to the present.The Rhine is a classic example of a “multipurpose” river - used simultaneously for transportation, for industry and agriculture, for urban drinking and sanitation needs, for hydroelectric production, and for recreation. It thus invites comparison with similarly over-burdened rivers such as the Mississippi, Hudson, Colorado, and Columbia. The Rhine’s environmental problems are, however, even greater than those of other rivers because it is so densely populated (50 million people live along its borders), so highly industrialized (10% of global chemical production), and so short (775 miles in length).Two centuries of nonstop hydraulic tinkering have resulted in a Rhine with a sleek and slender profile. In their quest for a perfect canal-like river, engineers have modified it more than any other large river in the world. As a consequence, between 1815 and 1975, the river lost most of its natural floodplain, riverside vegetation, migratory fish, and biodiversity. Recent efforts to restore that biodiversity, though heartening, can have only limited success because so many of the structural changes to the river are irreversible.The Rhine: An Eco-Biography, 1815-2000 makes clear just how central the river has been to all aspects of European political, economic, and environmental life for the past two hundred years.Mark Cioc is professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is the author of Pax Atomica: The Nuclear Defense Debate in West Germany during the Adenauer Era.
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ISBN-13: 9780295985008
ISBN-10: 0295985003
Pagini: 263
Ilustrații: 43 illustrations, maps
Dimensiuni: 145 x 223 x 17 mm
Greutate: 0.37 kg
Editura: University of Washington Press
Seria Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books


"This book represents a momentous venture and aims to create a new genre: an eco-biography . . . an excellent book, which will be the standard reference on the Rhine in environmental history in English for many years to come." The Economic History Review"Sometimes ironic and humorous, consistently clear and persuasive, Cioc's 'life story' of the Rhine deftly weaves together politics, economics, and river ecology . . . A compelling study." Environmental History