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Regular version of the site

Book

Transplanting Modernity? New Histories of Poverty, Development, and Environment

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Academic editor: J. Smith, T. Robetson.

As the twenty-first century unfolds, few challenges facing humanity loom larger than dramatic environmental change, global poverty, and the uneasy relations between the wealthy "West" and the less privileged but rapidly changing "rest." This edited collection examines the historical phenomenon that brought environment, poverty, and developing world politics together during the twentieth century; international development programs aimed at transplanting industrial modernity. The editors of this volume—Tom Robertson and Jenny Leigh Smith—take an important new angle on the topic, focusing on the environmental dimensions of these projects and their long-term legacy. International development programs remade—or tried to remake—the rivers and mountains, forests and deserts, cities, farms, plants, animals and people of the world. Whether successful or not these projects transformed lives, events, and politics, and created the world we live in today.

This proposed edited volume grows out of an NSF-sponsored June 2015 workshop, held at Georgetown University. Transplanting Modernity presents nine engagingly written, carefully researched, and rigorously argued case studies that examine how twentieth-century modernization and development projects have radically reshaped physical and political environments around the world. Bringing environmental historians and historians of science and technology into conversation with scholars of diplomatic history and international development, it sheds new light on the history of modernization and its environmental legacy. All of the papers argue that the environmental impact of development has been one of the most important—and overlooked—historical phenomena of the twentieth century.

Transplanting Modernity? New Histories of Poverty, Development, and Environment