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Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History - Studies in Environment and History (Paperback)
  • Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History - Studies in Environment and History (Paperback)
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Environment, Power, and Injustice: A South African History - Studies in Environment and History (Paperback)

(author)
£28.99
Paperback 324 Pages / Published: 26/06/2003
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This book presents the socio-environmental history of black people around Kuruman, on the edge of the Kalahari in South Africa. Considering successive periods - Tswana agropastoral chiefdoms before colonial contact, the Cape frontier, British colonial rule, Apartheid, and the homeland of Bophuthatswana in the 1980s - Environment, Power and Injustice shows how the human relationship with the environment corresponded to differences of class, gender, and race. While exploring biological, geological, and climatological forces in history, this book argues that the challenges of existence in a semidesert arose more from human injustice than from deficiencies in the natural environment. In fact, powerful people drew strength from and exercised their power over others through the environment. At the same time, the natural world provided marginal peoples with some relief from human injustice.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521010702
Number of pages: 324
Weight: 430 g
Dimensions: 229 x 153 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'... a fascinating story of the relationships of different groups of people with their environment, as they interact with each other ... a work of impeccably detailed research, supported by more than 50 pages of notes ...' Geography
'This is a seminal contribution to southern African rural and environmental history, authoritatively meshing natural and socio-political environments in ways that make many new connections and interpretations ... Jacob's approach throughout is refreshingly nonideological and morally aware ...' Anthony Lemon, Cultural Geographies
"Jacobs is the first historian of the region to mesh the human and natural worlds successfully into a seamless socio-environmental analysis that illuminates historical issues as diverse as weather patterns and river flows, agricultural practice, equity, traditional leadership and modern politics. This is achieved with great insight, and provides a fresh perspective on rural South Africa." Jane Carruthers, University of South Africa
"Nancy Jacobs's book, firmly based on deep research in the documents, aerial photographs, and personal interviews, is unideological, nuanced, and scientifically as well as morally informed. It is indispensable for the student of South African environmental history." Alfred W. Crosby, author of Throwing Fire and The Measure of Reality
"Nancy Jacobs's book, firmly based on deep research in the documents, aerial photographs, and personal interviews, is unideological, nuanced, and scientifically as well as morally informed. It is indispensable for the student of South African environmental history." Alfred W. Crosby, author of Throwing Fire and The Measure of Reality
"Nancy Jacobs's book is an important and innovative one. On the one hand it is a local history of the Kuruman area from precolonial times to late apartheid. On the other hand it originally provides an intersection between environmental and social history, with an additional focus on race. It invites comparison with Colin Murray's Black Mountain, though it covers a far longer time period, and deals with a wider range of issues. It links up problems in new ways, and provides a fresh look at the processes of rural change in South Africa. It is knowledgeable, and offers many original and sometimes controversial interpretations. It makes a stunning book for South African historians, and will be of more general interest to environmental and social historians, as well as those concerned with contemporary land reform." Martin Legassick, University of the Western Cape
"Opportunities change, local expertise may decline, but the environment still persists with its attendant value. So should this book. It offers a fresh chronological outlook for this region and speaks to issues of state discourse, land, and common livelihood...it is a valuable contribution to the growing literature on environmental history in southern Africa." African Studies Review

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