Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present by James H. S. McGregor (Hardback, 2015)
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- DescriptionA cultural and ecological history of the Mediterranean region and humankind's broken covenant with nature The garden was the cultural foundation of the early Mediterranean peoples; they ackwledged their reliance on and kinship with the land, and they understood nature through the lens of their diversely cultivated landscape. Their image of the garden underwrote the biblical book of Genesis and the region's three religions. For millennia, there was sharp divide between humankind and the land that was home. To be sure, the elements could be harsh, their origins mysterious, but there was a widespread consensus that presumed a largely harmonious working relationship with Nature. Traditional agriculture in the ancient Mediterranean mimicked the key traits of naturally occurring ecosystems. It was diverse, complex, self-regulating, and resilient. This relationship effectively came to an end in the late eighteenth century, when nature was steadily equated with the untamed landscape devoid of human intervention. In the early part of the century, the human world, the agricultural realm, and the province of uncultivated nature were one continuous field with internal boundaries. By century's end, however, key writers had created a sharp divide within this continuum and separated the agricultural world from the world of nature. This abrupt and dramatic change of sensibility upended ecological understanding and had ermous consequences-consequences with which we are still struggling. In Back to the Garden, James H. S. McGregor argues that the environmental crisis the world faces today is a result of Western society's abandonment of the First Nature principle-of the harmonious interrelationship of human communities and the natural world. This essential work offers a new understanding of environmental accountability while proposing that recovering the original vision of ourselves, t as antagonists of nature but as cultivators of a biological world to which we innately belong, is possible through proven techniques of the past. Much has been lost, the landscape has been degraded, and traditional kwledge has died away. But there is still much that can be recovered, studied, and reimagined.
- Author BiographyJames H. S. McGregor is the author of five books on world cities. He is emeritus professor of comparative literature at the University of Georgia and lives in Cambridge, MA.
- Author(s)James H. S. McGregor
- PublisherYale University Press
- Date of Publication03/03/2015
- SubjectGeography & Earth Science: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Place of PublicationNew Haven
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintYale University Press
- Content Note18 b-w illus.
- Weight680 g
- Width155 mm
- Height234 mm
- Spine30 mm
- Format DetailsCloth over boards
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