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US Environmental History

Inviting Doomsday

John Wills

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Environmental issues in the USA are more important now than ever before. The devastation inflicted by Hurricane Katrina and Deepwater Horizon, as well as growing evidence of global warming, highlight a nation caught in environmental crisis. This introduction to America’s environmental crisis shows that it is firmly rooted in the past and that today's problems are manifestations of older systems of capitalism, technology and a catastrophe culture.

Key Features

  • Covers new environmental disasters such as Katrina and Deepwater Horizon
  • Identifies 'doomsday landscapes' including the Santa Barbara Oil Spill, the 'Fable for Tomorrow' town in Rachel Carson's /Silent Spring/ (1962) and Nevada's fake Doom Towns blown apart by atomic testing
  • Looks at whether Americans have been inviting the current situation through their long-term environmental actions
  • Includes 14 illustrations showing environmental destruction both real and imagined

 

Contents

List of illustrations
Introduction
Prologue: The Invitation
1. Killing in the Wilderness
2. The End of the (old) World
3. The Armageddon Experiment: Doom Town USA
4. Chemical Dystopia and Silent Spring
5. Black Days: The Santa Barbara Oil Spill and Deepwater Horizon
6. The Disaster City and Hurricane Katrina
7. Disney/Disnature and the End of the Organic
Conclusion: The Doomsday Machine
Epilogue: The Doomsday Seed
Index

About the Author

John Wills is a Senior Lecturer in American History and American Studies at the University of Kent. He is author of /Invention of the Park/ (2005), /Conservation Fallout/ (2006) and, with Karen Jones, /The American West/ (2009).