The Face of the Earth: Environment and World History

By J. Donald Hughes | Go to book overview
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6

Valery J. Cholakov


Toward Eco-Revival?

The Cultural Roots of Russian
Environmental Concerns

Throughout the 1970s many environmental concerns that originated in the 1960s in the West penetrated the Soviet bloc. For instance, Rachel Carson was published in translation in 1969, followed by others, such as Barry Commoner. While the official propaganda defined these environmental concerns as problems of the capitalist West, various dissenting movements in the East saw in them a chance to attack the system openly. Ecological consciousness spread among the peoples of Eastern Europe, and this contributed to the rise of civil discontent and the eventual downfall of the regimes.

This is a brief summary of recent events, but while it is true that the first protests against the governments were indeed environmentally motivated (e.g., "eco-glasnost"), the roots of environmental concerns in this part of the world are

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