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The retreat of the elephants : an environmental history of China
AuthorElvin, Mark
Pub. LocationNew Haven, CTPublisherYale University Press
Date2004Phys. Desc.xxviii, 564 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
LocationDir. Office Gallery NorthCall NumberGF656.E48 2004
The retreat of the elephants : an environmental history of China / Mark Elvin.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 530-547) and index.

Landmarks and time-marks -- Humans v. elephants : the three thousand years war -- The great deforestation : an overview -- The great deforestation : regions and species -- War and the logic of short-term advantage -- Water and the costs of system sustainability -- Richness to riches : the story of Jiaxing -- Chinese colonialism : Guizhou and the Miao -- The riddle of longevity : why Zunhua? -- Nature as revelation -- Science and superfauna -- Imperial dogma and personal perspectives.

"This is the first environmental history of China during the three thousand years for which there are written records. It is also a treasure trove of literary, political, aesthetic, scientific, and religious sources that allow the reader direct access to the views and feelings of the Chinese people toward their environment and their landscape." "Elvin chronicles the spread of the Chinese style of farming that eliminated the habitat of the elephants that populated the country alongside much of its original wildlife; the destruction of most of the forests; the impact of war on the environmental transformation of the landscape; and the re-engineering of the countryside through water-control systems, some of gigantic size. He documents the histories of three contrasting localities within China to show how ecological dynamics defined the lives of the inhabitants. And he shows that China in the eighteenth century, on the eve of the modern era, was probably more environmentally degraded than northwestern Europe around this time."--Jacket.

Also available in hardcopy and online at Gleeson Library.

Subject(s)Human ecology--China--History
Environmental degradation--China--History
China--Environmental conditions
Rec. TypeBookLanguageEnglish
CollectionRicci Institute Library [ASCC]Rec. #18681
ISBN0300119933 ; 9780300119930LCCN2003017378OCLC52819558