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The Greenest Nation?


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This is clearly the best and most brilliant history of the greening of Germany, from German environmentalism's disparate origins until the present. Uekotter, a sharp and independent analyst with immense knowledge in the field, presents a fresh look at "green" Germany. Nearly every page of the book is full of surprising facts, and it is not written without a good pinch of green self-irony. -- Joachim Radkau, Professor of Modern History, Bielefeld University This is a welcome book from a leading German scholar, a lucid historical account of 'the broad roof called environmentalism' in twentieth-century Germany. The brevity of the survey belies its comprehensiveness, for it skillfully situates German environmentalism in its broad social, political, and cultural contexts. -- Roger Chickering, Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University No one is better equipped than Uekotter for tracing the rise of German environmentalism. He has written a fascinating and timely account that explains well how environmentalism has emerged as a strong political movement, how it differs from nation to nation, and what those differences can teach us about our home-grown American ideas and commitments. -- Donald Worster, University of Kansas, author of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir A boldly framed and constantly thought-provoking account of how Germany became a "laboratory for green growth." Uekotter casts his net wide to take in the worlds of activism, public policy, and everyday culture. Sharply written and fresh in its judgments, his book is both scholarly and accessible. -- David Blackbourn, Cornelius Vanderbilt Distinguished Professor of History at Vanderbilt University and author of The Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany Frank Uekotter's wonderful new book will help you think more clearly about environmental movements everywhere, not just in Germany. It is as much a work about the future as the past. -- Adam Rome, author of The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation

About the Author

Frank Uekoetter is Reader in Environmental Humanities at the University of Birmingham (UK). He is the author of The Green and the Brown: A History of Conservation in Nazi Germany, The Age of Smoke: Environmental Policy in Germany and the United States, 1880-1970, and other books.


The publication is recommended to all human ecologists and environmental professionals looking at environmentalism in terms of civic activism, government policy, culture and lifestyle. It is a companion, providing background reading to students in human ecology and environmental science. It is a source of inspiration for environmental decision makers.

* International Journal of Environment and Pollution *

...the book on the whole is an extremely welcome addition to the field and will be of particular value to undergraduate courses on environmental history. It also will be eagerly read by German historians struggling to integrate the country's environmental movement into larger national narratives. Stylistically, the book was a pleasure to read, fullof revealing and well-narrated anecdotes.

* German History *

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