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Book Cover
Author Montgomery, David R., 1961-

Title Dirt : the erosion of civilizations / David R. Montgomery.

Imprint Berkeley : University of California Press, c2007.


Location Call No. Status
 GDL Central Library Non-Fiction    631.49 MON    Available
Description ix, 285 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-270) and index.
Contents Acknowledgments -- 1. Good old dirt -- 2. Skin of the Earth -- 3. Rivers of life -- 4. Graveyard of empires -- 5. Let them eat colonies -- 6. Westward hoe -- 7. Dust blow -- 8. Dirty business -- 9. Islands in time -- 10. Life span of civilizations -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index.
Summary Dirt, soil, call it what you want--it is the root of our existence, supporting our feet, our farms, our cities. In this natural and cultural history of soil that sweeps from ancient civilizations to modern environmental calamities, earth scientist Montgomery explores the idea that we are--and have long been--using up Earth's soil. Once bare of protective vegetation and exposed to wind and rain, cultivated soils erode bit by bit, slowly enough to be ignored in a single lifetime but fast enough over time to limit the lifespan of civilizations. Montgomery traces the role of soil use and abuse in the history of Mesopotamia, Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, China, Native American civilizations, European colonialism, and the American push westward. We see how soil has shaped history--as society after society has risen, prospered, and plowed through a natural endowment of fertile dirt, leaving a legacy of impoverished lands.--From publisher description.
Subject Soil science -- History.
Soil erosion.
ISBN 9780520248700 (cloth : alk. paper)
0520248708 (cloth : alk. paper)

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