This book is the first major study of the history ofenvironmentalism, from its origins in romanticism and the naturecults of the late 18th century to the global environmentalmovements of today.
Radkau shows that this is not a single story of the steady ascentof environmentalism but rather a multiplicity of stories, each withits own dramatic tension: between single-issue movements and thechallenges posed by the interconnection of environmental issues,between charismatic leaders and bureaucratic organizations, andbetween grassroot movements and global players. While the historycan be traced back several centuries, environmentalism hasflourished since the ‘environmental revolution’ of1970, spurred on by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 and thegrowing concern about global warming. While environmentalists oftenopposed the scientific mainstream, they were also often led byscientific knowledge. Environmentalism is the true Enlightenment ofour time Ð so much so that we can call our era ‘the ageof ecology’.
This timely and comprehensive global history of environmentalismwill be essential reading for anyone concerned with the mostpressing global issues of our time.