J. Donald Hughes
Ecological Process in World History
The organizing principle of virtually every world history text at present available and used in courses in North America is development. 1 The word occurs everywhere, often in such titles as The Development of Civilization. 2 The case for development is virtually never argued; it is simply accepted as an unquestioned good. The story, as usually told, takes humankind from one level of economic and social organization to the next in a nearly triumphal ascent. The account begins with a brief description of Palaeolithic hunters living lives that are nasty, brutish, and short. Then the agricultural revolution occurs,
Reprinted in part from Environmental History Review 19, no. 1 ( Spring 1995): 1-16, © 1995 American Society for Environmental History. Reprinted by permission.