- List of Contributors
- Introduction: A New Environmental History
- Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History
- Animals and the Intimacy of History
- Beyond Virgin Soils: Disease as Environmental History
- Seas of Grass: Grasslands in World Environmental History
- New Patterns in Old Places: Forest History for the Global Present
- The Tropics: A Brief History of an Environmental Imaginary
- And All Was Light?—Science and Environmental History
- Toward an Environmental History of Technology
- New Chemical Bodies: Synthetic Chemicals, Regulation, and Human Health
- Rethinking American Exceptionalism: Toward a Transnational History of National Parks, Wilderness, and Protected Areas
- Restoration and the Search for Counter-Narratives
- Region, Scenery, and Power: Cultural Landscapes in Environmental History
- A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians
- Owning Nature: Toward an Environmental History of Private Property
- Work, Nature, and History: A Single Question, that Once Moved Like Light
- The Nature of Desire: Consumption in Environmental History
- Law and the Environment
- Confluences of Nature and Culture: Cities in Environmental History
- Race and Ethnicity in Environmental History
- Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History
- Conquest to Convalescence: Nature and Nation in United States History
- Boundless Nature: Borders and the Environment in North America and Beyond
- Crossing Boundaries: The Environment in International Relations
- The Politics of Nature
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores the place of grasslands in world environmental history, focusing on the Steppes and other temperate grasslands. It discusses the work of environmental historians such as Walter Prescott Webb, James Malin, Donald Worster, and William Cronon, as well as the problem they face in interpreting episodes such as the destruction of the bison or the dust bowl. It also examines conflicting cultural ideas of grasslands and some of the formative work within theoretical ecology on chaos theory.
Andrew C. Isenberg is Professor of History at Temple University. He is the author of The Destruction of the Bison: An Environmental History, 1750–1920 (2000); Mining California:An Ecological History (2005); Wyatt Earp: A Vigilante Life (2013); and the editor of The Nature of Cities: Culture, Landscape, and Urban Space (2006).
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