Many communities and individuals gave me guidance and support in writing this book. First among these is the American Society for Environmental History, my professional association for a quarter of a century, and its sister organization, the Forest History Society. Two, among these generous colleagues, Donald Worster and John McNeill, read an earlier version of the manuscript of this book and gave helpful criticisms that have greatly improved it.
This book had its genesis in a grant from the Charles A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation in 1987 which made possible my initial research trips to the Soviet Union and China. Our association did not end with the year of the grant; Reeve Lindbergh, Clare Hallward, and others have provided continuing encouragement in periodic reunions of the grantees.
My university and department have supported me in many ways. The chairs of the Department of History over the years—Allen D. Breck, Robert Roeder, Charles P. Carlson, John Livingston, and Michael Gibbs—have been untiring and understanding advocates on behalf of my efforts in research. The Faculty Research Committee, the Office of Internationalization and Vice Provost Ved Nanda, Deans Roscoe Hill and Gregg Kvistad, Provost William Zaranka and Chancellor Dan Ritchie have made time and resources available for this effort. My distinguished faculty colleagues elected me to the Evans Professorship, which includes a modest budget for research that helped to make this book possible. Phyllis Corchary served as my research assistant during the early days of preparation, and found a wealth of sources for this book.
Special thanks are due to James O’Connor, who read portions of the manuscript and made valuable suggestions, and to Barbara Laurence and to their journal, Capitalism, Nature, Socialism, where I was able to try out the ideas for several sections of this book in the form of a series of columns.
Thanks also go to the students in my World Environmental History course, who have read and commented on drafts of this book and discussed them in class. They too are my colleagues; I have learned from them.
I am grateful to many members of the worldwide community of scholars who have willingly been my hosts, guides, and counselors during travel and research. There have been more than I can list, but some have given me so much that they must be mentioned here: in Australia, John Dargavel and Denise Gaughwin; in Egypt, Shafik Farid; in Finland, Yrjö Vasari, Mikko Saikku, and Simo Laakkonen; in France, Patrick Petitjean, and (at UNESCO, Paris), Marie Roué and Thomas Schaaf; in Germany, Achim Köddermann and Heinrich Rubner; in Greece, Niki Goulandris, Giorgios Nakos, and John Rendall; in India, M.D. Subash Chandran, Madhav Gadgil, Deepak Kumar, Ajay Rawat, Rana Singh,