The Use and Abuse of Nature

The Use and Abuse of Nature

Product ID: 7111

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Author: Madhav Gadgil
Ramachandra Guha/
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Year: 2000
Language: English
Pages: 528
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0195649273


This omnibus brings together two books that have radically altered our understanding of Indian history. They are a product of a unique collaboration between an eminent ecologist and a top-ranking sociologist.

This Fissured land presents an interpretative ecological history of the sub-continent. It offers a theory of ecological prudence and profligacy, testing this theory across the wide sweep of South Asian history. The focus is on the use and abuse of forest resources, a sector to which the authors have each devoted years of research.

Ecology and Equity is a spirited intervention into the environment-development debate. The first part presents an original theoretical framework for understanding the roots of environmental degradation and resource conflict in modern India. After an analysis of the rise of Indian environmentalism, the authors offer an innovative agenda for environmental and social renewal. This agenda, which draws creatively on different political traditions and ideologies, is then applied to several areas of India’s development effort.

Both books have attracted much attention, within the academic community as well as outside it. They have been reprinted and translated, praised and criticized. The authors have written a fresh introduction for this omnibus edition, explaining the purpose of their collaboration, answering their critics, and suggesting possible future paths for the environmental movement. The Use and Abuse of Nature is required reading for those interested in South Asian politics, history, and environmental studies.


Madhav Gadgil and Ramachandra Guha have put together a remarkable book on the use and abuse of nature in India... a must for all those involved in the problems of India… its provocative style stirs the cauldron of conflicts.

-Valmik Thapar, India Today

A breath of fresh air... easy, engrossing reading.. The distilled essence of much detailed scholarship laced with a strong sense of commitment.

-The Book Review

This book will certainly take its place on the shelf when large portions of the ecological history of the globe are being plotted out... we are in expert hands.

-E.P. Thompson, Trends in ecology and Ecology and Evolution

The book is a must for every concerned omnivore.

- Divyabhanusinh, Outlook