Publication Date

July 1, 2002

Post Type

American Historical Review

In its June 2002 issue, the AHR carried a Forum Essay by Ted Steinberg (“Down to Earth: Nature, Agency, and Power in History,” 107:3, 798-820), in which he contends that taking environmental history seriously means that historians must recognize that nature is more than a mere backdrop to other events and forces. Indeed, he insists that historians should begin to recognize the environment as a critical factor affecting human agency.

Instead of commissioning comments on this essay, as is the usual practice with Forums, the AHR editors are opening up the commentary process to readers by soliciting their reactions to the article. Rather than print a few replies, they will take advantage of the new online AHR at the History Cooperative to hold a moderated discussion between the author and any commentators during September 2-23, 2002. Participants can send questions or comments of up to 700 words. Guidelines will be posted on the discussion sign-in page. The primary goals are to make the exchanges as open and useful as possible while ensuring that they comply with the established standards of the AHR. After the discussion has concluded, the exchanges will become a permanent part of the electronic version of this forum essay.

Questions about the Forum can be sent to the American Historical Review, 914 E. Atwater Ave., Bloomington, IN 47401 or to our e-mail address:

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