Studies in Environment and History: Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (Hardback)
  • Studies in Environment and History: Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (Hardback)
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Studies in Environment and History: Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt: Environment and Economy in Late Imperial South China (Hardback)

(author), (series editor), (series editor)
£93.00
Hardback 408 Pages / Published: 28/02/1998
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Challenging the conventional wisdom conveyed by Western environmental historians about China, this book examines the correlations between economic and environmental changes in the southern Chinese provinces of Guangdong and Guangxi from 1400 to 1850, but also provides substantial background from 2CE on. Robert Marks discusses the impact of population growth on land-use patterns, the agro-ecology of the region, and deforestation; the commercialization of agriculture and its implications for ecological change; the impact of climatic change on agriculture; and the ways in which the human population responded to environmental challenges. This book is a significant contribution to both Chinese and environmental history. It is groundbreaking in its methods and in its findings.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521591775
Number of pages: 408
Weight: 750 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 24 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'This work is a breath of fresh air in terms of the approach that uses the interaction between environment and economy to examine historical change in Lingnan. Well researched, clearly written and strongly argued, it raises new questions and opens the possibility of further research into and comparisons with the history of environment and economy in other parts of imperial China.' The Journal of Peasant Studies
"...this is a landmark book that deserves, and will undoubtedly receive, a wide readership." Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"Few historical studies feature animals in their titles. We gain insight, however, from turning human-centered history around because animals, earth, water, and climate all strongly affect human daily life. One of the special merits of Robert Marks's meticulous study of long-term environmental change in South China is that he incorporates the human story into a balanced, synthetic description of natural, biological, and political developments. While recognizing the great achievements of the Chinese settlers who transformed their environment, he never loses sight of the costs." Peter C. Purdue, Journal of Asian Studies
"...the book's most thought-provoking achievement is to make us ponder late imperial Chinese history in terms of long-term processes of change through which human interaction with the environment has created an ambivalent mix of economic goods and ecological "bads"." JAAS
"...it deserves high praise for being one of the most comprehensive studies of the economic history of South CHina in the late imperial period...Marks has provided the most balanced overview of the different aspects of agricultural and commercialization in the Pearl River Delta during the Ming and Qing...The book is packed with useful statistics, and the maps are beautifully presented...Marks has presented us with a solid examination of economic activity in the Lingnan region and its implications for the environment." China Review International
"insightful and well-documented...Tigers, Rice, Silk, and Silt weaves together a vast variety of data on environmental trends, including long-term climate shifts, deforestation, land reclamation, and the disappearance of elephants and togers. It is presented with the help of many useful maps, charts and tables. Marks is particularly successful in showing the reclamation and settlement of the Pearl River Delta near Canton after the fourteeth century, and the expansion of a regional rice market as the Delta area turned to the production of cash crops and manufactured goods for export to other parts of China and Southeast Asia." Jrnl of World History Fall 2000

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