A Documentary Reader on Population, Resources, and the Environment
- PUBLISHED: May 2022
- SUBJECT LISTING: Environmental Studies, History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 278 Pages, 6 x 9 in
- SERIES: Weyerhaeuser Environmental Classics
- ISBN: 9780295749907
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
For centuries, thinking about the earth's increasing human population has been tied to environmental ideas and political action. This highly teachable collection of contextualized primary sources allows students to follow European and North American discussions about intertwined and evolving concepts of population, resources, and the natural environment from early contexts in the sixteenth century through to the present day.
Edited and introduced by Robert J. Mayhew, a noted biographer of Thomas Robert Malthus—whose Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), excerpted here, is an influential and controversial take on the topic—this volume explores themes including evolution, eugenics, war, social justice, birth control, environmental Armageddon, and climate change. Other responses to the idea of new "population bombs" are represented here by radical feminist work, by Indigenous views of the population-environment nexus, and by intersectional race-gender approaches. By learning the patterns of this discourse, students will be better able to critically evaluate historical conversations and contemporary debates.
Authors & Contributors
Robert J. Mayhew is Fellow and Senior Tutor at Pembroke College, Cambridge and Honorary Professor of Historical Geography at the University of Bristol. He has published extensively on the history of Malthusian thought, including Malthus: The Life and Legacies of an Untimely Prophet (2014) and New Perspectives on Malthus (editor, 2016). He has also edited Malthus's selected works for Penguin Classics. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.
An erudite and stimulating work that addresses Malthus's neglected legacy within environmental history. Debating Malthus is the only sourcebook to provide a deeper historical approach with such a wide chronological scope.- Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, author of Green Victorians: The Simple Life in John Ruskin's Lake District
A much-needed intellectual map of the enduring complex of population and resources, and a clear journey over difficult terrain.- Alison Bashford, author of Global Population: History, Geopolitics, and Life on Earth