Ecological Imperialism

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Cambridge University Press, Oct 6, 2015 - History - 388 pages
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People of European descent form the bulk of the population in most of the temperate zones of the world - North America, Australia and New Zealand. The military successes of European imperialism are easy to explain; in many cases they were a matter of firearms against spears. But as Alfred W. Crosby maintains in this highly original and fascinating book, the Europeans' displacement and replacement of the native peoples in the temperate zones was more a matter of biology than of military conquest. European organisms had certain decisive advantages over their New World and Australian counterparts. The spread of European disease, flora and fauna went hand in hand with the growth of populations. Consequently, these imperialists became proprietors of the most important agricultural lands in the world. In the second edition, Crosby revisits his now classic work and again evaluates the global historical importance of European ecological expansion.

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User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

I wonder why Alfred Crosby isn’t better known. His range of interest is extensive (just the ones I’ve read cover the 1918 influenza epidemic, the history of artillery, and the current study of the ... Read full review

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User Review  - atrautz - LibraryThing

In “Ecological Imperialism”, Crosby shows the important role that biology played in the conquest of the New World. He discusses the impact of disease (i.e., small pox, etc.) introduced by Europeans on ... Read full review


Pangaea revisited the Neolithic reconsidered
The Norse and the Crusaders
The Fortunate Isles
Within reach beyond grasp
Io New Zealand
I2 Conclusion
What was the smallpox in

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About the author (2015)

Alfred Worcester Crosby Jr. was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 15, 1931. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard University in 1952. He served as a sergeant in the Army in the Panama Canal Zone. After his service, he received a doctorate in history from Boston University. He taught at Washington State University for 11 years and at the University of Texas in Austin for 22 years. He retired in 1999 as professor emeritus of geography, history, and American studies. He was considered the father of environmental history. He incorporated studies of biology, ecology, geography, and other sciences in his efforts to chronicle and understand human events. He wrote numerous books including The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492; Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900; Germs, Seeds and Animals: Studies in Ecological History; The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600; and Children of the Sun: A History of Humanity's Unappeasable Appetite for Energy. He died from complications of Parkinson's disease on March 14, 2018 at the age of 87.

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