Book/Printed Material Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action
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- Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action
- The publication of this magisterial analysis of the human impact on nature, written by the profusely gifted man who was then American Minister to Italy, did as much as anything to launch the conservation movement in the United States. Although (as the historian Richard H. Grove has recently demonstrated) many of Marsh's insights had been anticipated by earlier scientists and geographers, notably in the European imperial domains, this work was the first systematic exploration of the extent and significance of the environmental changes wrought by man, and the first systematic exposition of the guiding principles and practices of conservationism; its influence on the subsequent development of American conservation thought and policy has been incalculable. Marsh's achievement was to synthesize a formidable body of learning across the fields of natural and human history to advocate a change in Western man's characteristic self-understanding: a shift from belief in the immutable power of nature to recognition of the power of man, including his ability to threaten his own welfare through the manipulation of nature, and recognition that man must therefore temper his exercise of power with wisdom, restraint, and the activity of restoration. Marsh's vision rests on a set of paradigmatic perceptions that have recurred in different forms in American environmental discourse ever since, animating conservationism with moral urgency and metaphysical disquiet: the complex intuition that nature is essentially harmonious, that man is separated from nature, that he has violated its harmonies, that his violations harm both nature and man, and that reconciliation between them must become a paramount human task. American Memory.
- Marsh, George P. (George Perkins), 1801-1882
Created / Published
- New York, C. Scribner, 1864.
- - Conservation of natural resources
- - Nature--Effect of human beings on
- - "Bibliographical list of works consulted": p. [vii]-xv.
- xix, 560 p. 24 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
- GF31 .M35 1864a
Library of Congress Control Number
Additional Metadata Formats
IIIF Presentation Manifest
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Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.
Chicago citation style:
Marsh, George P. Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action. New York, C. Scribner, 1864. Image. https://www.loc.gov/item/tmp93000823/.
APA citation style:
Marsh, G. P. (1864) Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action. New York, C. Scribner. [Image] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/tmp93000823/.
MLA citation style:
Marsh, George P. Man and nature; or, Physical geography as modified by human action. New York, C. Scribner, 1864. Image. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <www.loc.gov/item/tmp93000823/>.