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The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment
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The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  72 ratings  ·  11 reviews
From reviews of the first edition (1994): "Extraordinarily well written . . . "
"--Contemporary Sociology"

"A readable chronicle aimed at a general audience . . . Graceful and accessible . . . "
"--Dollars and Sense"

"Has the potential to be a political bombshell in radical circles around the world."
"--Environmental Action"

The Vulnerable Planet has won respect as the best sing
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Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 1st 1999 by Monthly Review Press
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 151)
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Tannya
I am right in the middle of this really fascinating book on the history of how people have impacted the environment though agriculture, population, industrialism etc. It is so incredibly interesting and mind boggling. I am really enjoying reading it. I probably will move it up to a 5 star when I am finished. This is required reading for an environmental sociology class I am in this term. The author is my professor and he actually has quite a few published books on this subject. He is incredibly ...more
Ayuchi
Easy to read, environmental movement seen from historical and economical perspective. I'm
Sarah
o intense. It's an easy to read, interesting and sometimes terrifying book that lays out the history of human development and how it's interacted with the environment. It makes you understand a little better how dramatic the difference between 1st world and 3rd world is and that society as we know it IS NOT SUSTAINABLE. There needs to be some serious change.
Anas Mp
Has the potential to be a political bombshell in radical circles both in the United States and around the world…. Foster’s arguments in The Vulnerable Planet give voice to views on population growth that have traditionally been nearly unthinkable to socialists…. One of Foster’s strengths is his effort to place today’s ecological crisis in historical context.
Sam
Foster does an excellent job of tracking the increase of human exploitation of the environment through time, and provides a fascinating point of view as to capitalism's incompatibility with true environmental reform.
Alexandra
Excellent Professor at the Univ. of Oregon (Sociology Dept) - took his class on Environmental Sociology, read & discussed his book; if you're interested in environmental issues, its a good one to read and short :)
Jack
even though its 15 years old it is still a great primer for environmental history. points out that capitalism is the thing that needs to be removed to do much about the climate chaos
Ron
The truth that nobody wanted to hear, long before Al Gore had the slightest inkling.
Anthony
A nice primer on the current status of environmental issues.
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“The chief causes of the environmental destruction that faces us today are not biological, or the product of individual human choice. They are social and historical, rooted in the productive relations, technological imperatives, and historically conditioned demographic trends that characterize the dominant social system. Hence, what is ignored or downplayed in most proposals to remedy the environmental crisis is the most critical challenge of all: the need to transform the major social bases of environmental degradation, and not simply to tinker with its minor technical bases. As long as prevailing social relations remain unquestioned, those who are concerned about what is happening are left with few visible avenues for environmental action other than purely personal commitments to recycling and green shopping, socially untenable choices between jobs and the environment, or broad appeals to corporations, political policy-makers, and the scientific establishment--the very interests most responsible for the current ecological mess.” 5 likes
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