Bookbeat

Bookbeat: June 2005

http://www.upf.com/book.asp?id=DAVISF05Paradise Lost?: The Environmental History of Florida

edited by Jack E. Davis, Department of History,
and Raymond Arsenault
(University of Florida Press, 2005)
Available through the University of Florida Press

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.

Reviews

“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

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