"From the earliest descriptions of the state's natural beauty to the degradation of the Everglades, virtually every facet of Florida environment is included in Paradise Lost? Nor have the authors neglected the human side of the story, from William Bartram, Marjory Stoneman Douglas, and Archie Carr to various development boosters and bureaucrats. . . . A fine collection that will make an important contribution to environmental history generally and to the history of Florida in particular."--Timothy Silver, Appalachian State University
"A magnificent contribution to Florida's environmental history and a fascinating analysis of 'paradise lost' in the land of the pink flamingos and Disney."--Carolyn Johnston, Eckerd College
This collection of essays surveys the environmental history of the Sunshine State, from Spanish exploration to the present, and provides an organized, detailed overview of the reciprocal relationship between humans and Florida's unique peninsular ecology. It is divided into four thematic sections: explorers and naturalists; science, technology, and public policy; despoliation; and conservationists and environmentalists. The contributors describe the evolving environmental policies and practices of the state and federal governments and the dynamic interaction between the Florida environment and many social and cultural groups including the Spanish, English, Americans, southerners, northerners, men, and women. They have applied historical methodology and also drawn on the methodologies of the fields of political science, cultural anthropology, and sociology.
Of obvious value to environmentalists and general readers interested in Florida's history, exploration, and development, the book will also serve as a solid introduction to the subject for undergraduates and graduate students.
Jack E. Davis is associate professor of history at University of Florida. Raymond Arsenault is the John Hope Franklin Professor of Southern History and director of the University Honors College at the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
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"Yet the environmental history of the state, detailed in this important book . . . demands a more nuanced understanding than simply decrying the fearful statistics or scary stories of degraded conditions." Miami Herald
"Finally, we understand that Florida is at a dangerous crossroads in its existence. Our booming population, poorly managed to favor short-term economic gain, may finally overwhelm nature's capacity to regenerate itself. Likewise for the economy that has historically depended on it. This alone should make Paradise Lost required reading for anyone running for public office in Florida." Forum (Florida Humanities Council)
"A comprehensive exploration of Florida environmental history." Wildlife Book Reviews
Paradise Lost? situate[s] Florida's environmental problems as central topics not only in state and regional history but also in the broader environmental history of the nation. The Journal of Southern History
…eloquent, sophisticated, invaluable new book… Florida Historical Quarterly
"Useful for those interested in the history of Florida who need an introduction to the Floridian environment." Southwestern Mission Research Center