The Ecology of War: Environmental Impacts of Weaponry and Warfare

Susan D. Lanier-Graham, Author
Susan D. Lanier-Graham, Author Walker & Company $22.95 (185p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1262-2
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Saddam Hussein's oil fires during the Persian Gulf War were only the latest example of the environmental costs of warfare. In this useful survey, Lanier-Graham goes back to earliest recorded times--Samson burning the crops of the Philistines, King Archidamus cutting down fruit trees to form a palisade in the Peloponnesian War--to show how armies have incidentally or deliberately been destructive of the natural environment. Scorched-earth warfare, bombing, shelling, trenching, defoliation and other activities have destroyed forests, deprived animal populations of habitat and fostered extinctions, she writes. Her survey is especially strong on modern American wars, offering examples ranging from the devastation of live corals to build Pacific runways in WW II to the creation of some 30 million bomb craters in the Vietnam War. The author's The Nature Directory was named a Top Reference Book of 1991 by the New York Public Library. (June)
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