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“In Search of the Rain Forest dissects the multiple meanings and the iconography of tropical nature in a very interesting way. It moves ‘rain forest studies’ into the realm of cultural critique in a manner that serves important scholarly as well as consciousness-raising ends.”—Susanna B. Hecht, coauthor of The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon — N/A
“This is an immensely thought-provoking and entertaining book. It makes a compelling case for an approach to the rain forest that eschews environmental fundamentalism in favor of a rich and multilayered understanding of the social complexities of rain forest practice and representation.”—Raymond L. Bryant, author of The Political Ecology of Forestry in Burma, 1824–1994 — N/A
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From diverse disciplines—history, archaeology, sociology, literature, law, and cultural anthropology—the contributors provide case studies from Latin America, Asia, and Africa. They point the way toward a search for a rain forest that is both a natural entity and a social history, an inhabited place and a shifting set of ideas. The essayists demonstrate how the single image of a wild and yet fragile forest became fixed in the popular mind in the late twentieth century, thereby influencing the policies of corporations, environmental groups, and governments. Such simplistic conceptions, In Search of the Rain Forest shows, might lead companies to tout their “green” technologies even as they try to downplay the dissenting voices of native populations. Or they might cause a government to create a tiger reserve that displaces peaceful peasants while opening the doors to poachers and bandits. By encouraging a nuanced understanding of distinctive, constantly evolving forests with different social and natural histories, this volume provides an important impetus for protection efforts that take into account the rain forest in all of its complexity.
Contributors. Scott Fedick, Alex Greene, Paul Greenough, Nancy Peluso, Suzana Sawyer, Candace Slater, Charles Zerner
Candace Slater is Marian E. Koshland Distinguished Professor in the Humanities at the University of California, Berkeley. Among her books are Entangled Edens: Visions of the Amazon and Dance of the Dolphin: Transformation and Disenchantment in the Amazonian Imagination.
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