Get American Space American Place: Geographies of the PDF

By John Agnew, Jonathan M. Smith

ISBN-10: 0585441871

ISBN-13: 9780585441870

ISBN-10: 074861317X

ISBN-13: 9780748613175

First released in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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Additional resources for American Space American Place: Geographies of the Contemporary United States

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It also makes it clear that some particular people, or even person, bears responsibilit y for certain aspects of the visible world, that these attributable aspects did not simply occur as consequences of autonomous natural processes (Samuels 1979). The historical connection of a region’s human population and its environment cannot be gainsaid, and even today it should not be ignored, but in the United States at the beginning of the twent y-first century it must be reconsidered. You and I continue to have our freedom constrained by environmental limits, but ever fewer of these limits are imposed by our local or regional environment.

Although exceedingly dire, the image of abused nature was remarkably non-ideological. Indeed, it was widely supposed that environmental protection and restoration was a political movement around which all peoples could make common cause. Thus it seemed that it might be far less violent and divisive than the contemporary civil rights and antiwar movements. A New York Times editorial extolled the movement as one that “promises at last to unite today’s contending generations in a single cause,” a cause ultimately more enduring, it claimed, than Black Power or Vietnam (Bendiner 1969).

Reports of haze over the Grand Canyon or smog in the Yosemite Valley became, for obvious reasons, particularly poignant and ominous testimonials to a more widespread environmental degradation. The 1989 wreck of the Exxon Valdez and consequent oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound became a powerful icon of end-of-the-century nature, at least in part because it occurred in Alaska, America’s last and greatest preserve of heroic 40 Environmental ideals and realities nature. The same shocking irony illuminated the United States’ first toxic waste disaster at Love Canal, a symbol of destructive stupidit y made all the more poignant by its proximit y to Niagara Falls, that great nineteenth-century symbol of inexhaustible nature (McGreevy 1994).

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American Space American Place: Geographies of the Contemporary United States by John Agnew, Jonathan M. Smith


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