Book ID: CBB344704289

The Wild and the Toxic: American environmentalism and the politics of health (2019)


Health figures centrally in late twentieth-century environmental activism. There are many competing claims about the health of ecosystems, the health of the planet, and the health of humans, yet there is little agreement among the likes of D.C. lobbyists, grassroots organizers, eco-anarchist collectives, and science-based advocacy organizations about whose health matters most, or what health even means. In this book, Jennifer Thomson untangles the complex web of political, social, and intellectual developments that gave rise to the multiplicity of claims and concerns about environmental health. Thomson traces four strands of activism from the 1970s to the present: the environmental lobby, environmental justice groups, radical environmentalism and bioregionalism, and climate justice activism. By focusing on health, environmentalists were empowered to intervene in the rise of neoliberalism, the erosion of the regulatory state, and the decimation of mass-based progressive politics. Yet, as this book reveals, an individualist definition of health ultimately won out over more communal understandings. Considering this turn from collective solidarity toward individual health helps explain the near paralysis of collective action in the face of planetary disaster. (Publisher)

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Review Elizabeth Blum (October 2020) Review of "The Wild and the Toxic: American environmentalism and the politics of health". Environmental History (pp. 826-828). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Sellers, Christopher C.
Amter, Steven
Ross, Benjamin
Barrow, Mark V., Jr.
Kohlhoff, Dean W.
Hess, David J.
Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Environmental History
Science as Culture
Social Studies of Science
Journal of American Culture
University of Washington Press
University of California Press
University Press of Colorado
Temple University Press
University of Massachusetts Press
Science and politics
Environmental health; environmental medicine
Public policy
Public health
Carhart, Arthur Hawthorne
Time Periods
20th century
19th century
21st century
20th century, late
United States
California (U.S.)
Alaska (U.S.)
North America
United States. Bald Eagle Protection Act of 1940

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