Book Review Crosby

Book Review Crosby - 1 Alfred Crosby's book, Ecological...

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Alfred Crosby’s book, Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe (2004), examines the roots and reasons of the expansions of the European nations through history. He also asks and answers: Why are there such large concentrations of Europeans in these lands which are so distant from Europe? He guides the reader from one point to another smoothly due to his distinct writing style, which makes him sound like someone you would hang out with. Throughout the whole paper, Crosby credits most of Europe’s success to the biologic and ecological processes of their respective homelands. The author of the book, environmental historian Alfred W. Crosby, is a Professor Emeritus of History, Geography, and American Studies for the University of Texas at Austin. He gained his Ph.D. in history at Boston College in 1961. He has a long been a teacher of history, teaching at Albion College, the Ohio State University, Washington State University, and finally the University of Texas at Austin 1 . He was very involved in the civil-rights movement leading him to become interested in the history of those who had been victimized, economically exploited, or enslaved: 2 All three of which relate to the subject matter in his book. The first point I am going to cover, and what I believe to be the most important factor in the dominance of the Europeans in the Americas, was their biology. Throughout the last millennia Europeans had been exploring and interacting with many other cultures throughout the Middle East, Africa, Scandinavia, and Asia. Not only were there biologic 1 Awcrosby.com [resource on-line] (2006, accessed 9 November 2007); available from http://www.awcrosby.com; Internet. 2 Awcrosby.com [resource on-line] (2006, accessed 9 November 2007); available from http://www.awcrosby.com; Internet. 1
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interchanges between the people, but between people and animals. Crosby states, “It was their germs, not these imperialists themselves…that were chiefly responsible for sweeping aside the indigenes and opening Neo-Europes to demographic behavior.” 3
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HIST 101 taught by Professor Murillo during the Fall '07 term at San Diego State.

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Book Review Crosby - 1 Alfred Crosby's book, Ecological...

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