Insatiable Appetite: The United States and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World (Exploring World History)

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9780742553651: Insatiable Appetite: The United States and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World (Exploring World History)

Now in a concise edition created expressly for students and general readers, this widely hailed study traces the transformation of the tropics in modern times. Exploring the central role of the United States in the ongoing devastation of tropical lands, Richard P. Tucker shows how, in the late 1800s, American speculators first became participants in the centuries-long history of European economic and ecological hegemony in the tropics. Beginning as buyers in the tropical ports of the Atlantic and Pacific, they evolved into land speculators, controlling and managing the areas where tropical crops were grown for carefully fostered consumer markets at home. As corporate agro-industry emerged, the speculators took direct control of the ecological destinies of many tropical lands. Supported by the U.S. government's diplomatic and military protection, they built private empires in the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and West Africa.

Yankee investors and plantation managers mobilized engineers, agronomists, and loggers to undertake what they called the "Conquest of the Tropics," claiming to bring civilization to benighted peoples and cultivation to unproductive nature. In competitive cooperation with local landed and political elites, they not only cleared natural forests but also displaced multicrop tribal and peasant lands with monocrop export plantations rooted in private property regimes.

In a masterful narrative, Tucker highlights the unrelenting pressure that the demands of U.S. consumerism placed on fragile tropical lands. The forced domestication of widely varied natural systems ultimately led to a devastating decline in biodiversity. The author brings his analysis to life with a series of vivid case studies of sugar, bananas, coffee, rubber, beef, and timber—each a virtual empire in itself. All readers who are interested in environmental degradation and its links to the world economy will be enlightened by this nuanced history.

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From the Back Cover:

"This is a fascinating book. Tucker draws together an amazing amount of material to demonstrate how the U.S., through exploitation, consumption, and demand over the past several centuries, has had a major impact on the ecology of tropical landscapes. It is a sobering, much-needed wake-up call to those who view the tropics as an endless cornucopia of resources." --Charles M. Peters, The New York Botanical Garden

"This well-written book presents a critical and much-needed new insight into an important problem." --Otto T. Solbrig, Bussey Professor of Biology, Harvard University

About the Author:

Richard P. Tucker is adjunct professor of natural resources at the University of Michigan.

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Richard P. Tucker
Editorial: ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States (2007)
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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Concise revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now in a concise edition created expressly for students and general readers, this widely hailed study traces the transformation of the tropics in modern times. Exploring the central role of the United States in the ongoing devastation of tropical lands, Richard P. Tucker highlights the unrelenting pressure caused by the demands of U.S. consumerism. The forced domestication of varied natural systems ultimately led to a devastating decline in biodiversity. The author brings his analysis to life with a series of vivid case studies of sugar, bananas, coffee, rubber, beef, and timber-each a virtual empire in itself. All readers who are interested in environmental degradation and its links to the world economy will be enlightened by this nuanced history. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780742553651

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Descripción Rowman and Littlefield, 2007. PAP. Estado de conservación: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Nº de ref. de la librería IB-9780742553651

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Descripción ROWMAN LITTLEFIELD, United States, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Concise revised edition. Language: English . Brand New Book. Now in a concise edition created expressly for students and general readers, this widely hailed study traces the transformation of the tropics in modern times. Exploring the central role of the United States in the ongoing devastation of tropical lands, Richard P. Tucker highlights the unrelenting pressure caused by the demands of U.S. consumerism. The forced domestication of varied natural systems ultimately led to a devastating decline in biodiversity. The author brings his analysis to life with a series of vivid case studies of sugar, bananas, coffee, rubber, beef, and timber-each a virtual empire in itself. All readers who are interested in environmental degradation and its links to the world economy will be enlightened by this nuanced history. Nº de ref. de la librería AAC9780742553651

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Descripción Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Paperback. 280 pages. Dimensions: 8.8in. x 6.0in. x 0.9in.Now in a concise edition created expressly for students and general readers, this widely hailed study traces the transformation of the tropics in modern times. Exploring the central role of the United States in the ongoing devastation of tropical lands, Richard P. Tucker shows how, in the late 1800s, American speculators first became participants in the centuries-long history of European economic and ecological hegemony in the tropics. Beginning as buyers in the tropical ports of the Atlantic and Pacific, they evolved into land speculators, controlling and managing the areas where tropical crops were grown for carefully fostered consumer markets at home. As corporate agro-industry emerged, the speculators took direct control of the ecological destinies of many tropical lands. Supported by the U. S. governments diplomatic and military protection, they built private empires in the Caribbean, Central and South America, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and West Africa. Yankee investors and plantation managers mobilized engineers, agronomists, and loggers to undertake what they called the Conquest of the Tropics, claiming to bring civilization to benighted peoples and cultivation to unproductive nature. In competitive cooperation with local landed and political elites, they not only cleared natural forests but also displaced multicrop tribal and peasant lands with monocrop export plantations rooted in private property regimes. In a masterful narrative, Tucker highlights the unrelenting pressure that the demands of U. S. consumerism placed on fragile tropical lands. The forced domestication of widely varied natural systems ultimately led to a devastating decline in biodiversity. The author brings his analysis to life with a series of vivid case studies of sugar, bananas, coffee, rubber, beef, and timbereach a virtual empire in itself. All readers who are interested in environmental degradation and its links to the world economy will be enlightened by this nuanced history. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780742553651

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Descripción Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Nº de ref. de la librería INGM9780742553651

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