Empire of Extinction: Russians and the North Pacific's Strange Beasts of the Sea, 1741-1867 (Hardback)Ryan Tucker Jones (author)
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Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 550 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 32 mm
Ryan Tucker Jones takes the environmental history of colonialism to new lands - and seas - in telling the story of the Russian Empire's quest for fur and other animal products in the North Pacific, from Kamchatka to Alaska's panhandle. It is a memorable tale of two syndromes, the relentless search for a fast ruble at the expense of sea otters, seals, and other marine mammals combined with the rueful recognition of what sustained slaughter meant, including rapid extinction of that gentle giant, Steller's sea cow. Empire of Extinction is simultaneously environmental history, imperial history, Russian history, and history of expeditionary science-all wrapped in a highly readable package. * J.R. McNeill, Georgetown University *
Moving beyond human actors and utilizing an innovative methodological skillset that he himself has crafted, Ryan Tucker Jones compels us to reconsider the interactions of ecology, empire, commercial gain, and the practice of natural science. His book is pioneering on a number of fronts. The emphasis on marine animals and the people who hunted and studied them elucidates far-reaching relationships that have not been previously analyzed. Empire of Extinction brings in methodological insights from environmental history and the history of science both to enrich and to challenge the established ways of looking at the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Russian empire on both sides of the Pacific. It is the first book that integrates Russian America and the Russian Far East into the broader history of the Pacific, to the benefit of both. * Ilya Vinkovetsky, author of Russian America: An Overseas Colony of a Continental Empire *
Empire of Extinction is a masterful study of Russia's Pacific empire, but it also offers much more than that. Ryan Tucker Jones's careful analysis lends keen insights into the history of scientific exploration, environmental change, indigenous populations, and the brutal pursuit of power and profits. This book is a stellar accomplishment. * David Igler, author of The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush *
Empire of Extinction is a welcome addition to the small but growing field of Russian environmental history. * Bathsheba Demuth, Journal of Pacific History *
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