As a collection of essays that span more than two decades, the work helps identify the range of environmental issues in areas of urban and industrial life. . . . In bringing this well-documented, insightful material together with new introductory essays, Melosi has performed a true service to the study of the urban environment.
Garbage, wastewater, hazardous waste: these are the lenses through which Melosi views nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. In broad overviews and specific case studies, Melosi treats the relationship between industrial expansion and urban growth from an ecological perspective.
This is a good book that historians and environmental policy analysts will want to read. The literature reviews provided at the beginning of each section put each of the chapters in context. (The book is worth owning if only for these literature reviews.)
An intellectual journey with one of the giants of urban environmental history. . . . I will assign material from this book for my courses in urban and environmental geography and I would recommend others to do the same for similar courses. Having within an arm's reach a collection of thoughts from a leader and visionary in urban environmental history is the book's greatest value.
Martin V. Melosi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen University Professor and founding director of the Center for Public History at the University of Houston. Melosi received the Distinguished Research Award and the Distinguished Service Award from the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH), and the Esther Farfel Award from the University of Houston. He has served as president of the ASEH, the National Council on Public History, the Public Works Historical Society, and the Urban History Association. Melosi has written or edited nineteen books, including the award-winning The Sanitary City, and most recently, Atomic Age America.