Cities and Nature in the American West

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Editor: Char Miller

Format: Paper
Pages: 288
ISBN: 9780874178241
Published Date: 2010

In less than a century, the American West has transformed from a predominantly rural region to one where most people live in metropolitan centers. Cities and Nature in the American West offers provocative analyses of this transformation. Each essay explores the intersection of environmental, urban, and western history, providing a deeper understanding of the com- plex processes by which the urban West has shaped and been shaped by its sustaining environment. The book also considers how the West’s urban development has altered the human experience and perception of nature, from the administration and marketing of national parks to the consumer roots of popular environ- mentalism; the politics of land and water use; and the challenges of environmental inequities. A number of essays address the cultural role of wilderness, nature, and such activities as camping. Others examine the increasingly per- vasive power of the West’s urban areas and urbanites to redefine the very foundations and future of the American West.

Author Bio

Char Miller is W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis at Pomona College.


“In Cities and Nature in the American West, leading environmental historians examine how western urban areas and the natural world interact with each other. With particular attention to the economic and cultural impacts between urban areas and their surrounding landscapes, these insightful essays explore and redefine the imagined borders between city and nature. This book is vital reading for anyone with a serious interest in environmental studies in the West.” -- Carl Abbott, author of How Cities Won the West: Four Centuries of Urban Change in Western North America

"This is an interesting book, broad in its context but relatively brief in its length, that underscores the manifold ways in which rapid urban growth and rural, more natural environments have interacted." - H-Environment, H-Net Reviews

"The essays comprise some of the best available urban environmental history scholarship and...are superbly written." -- Western Historical Quarterly

"As an homage to the work and memory of Hal Rothman, and to intellectual curiosity borne of a familiarity with real places, it succeeds admirably." -- Oregon Historical Quarterly

"This book does not simply honor Hal K. Rothman. It also serves as a valuable introduction to some of the best recent scholarship in environmental history and geography. The volume is remarkable for the consistently high quality of the essays..." -- Southern California Quarterly