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Environment and History

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Environment and History

Wood and Forestry in German History: In Quest of an Environmental Approach

Joachim Radkau

Environment and History 2(1996): 63-76

Environmental history is mostly human history, but, at the same time, should be more than it; that ambiguity causes much theoretical confusion. The author discusses some conceptual problems of environmental history and their effect upon historiographical practice. In connection with that, he comments on several open questions of German forest history: the environmental significance of the many cries of alarm about 'wood famine'; the idea of nature in the course of the history of forestry; the complicated relations between forestry ideas and practice, and the different paths of French and German forestry.


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