328 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 4 halftones, 3 maps, appends., notes, bibl., index
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-1889-0
Published: August 2014
eBook ISBN: 978-0-8078-6934-5
Published: November 2011
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Awards & distinctions
2012 Gordon K. and Sybil Lewis Prize, Caribbean Studies Association
By superimposing this history of natural disasters over the conventional timeline of sociopolitical and economic events in Caribbean colonial history, Johnson presents an alternative analysis in which some of the signal events of the Age of Revolution are seen as consequences of ecological crisis and of the resulting measures for disaster relief. For example, Johnson finds that the general adoption in 1778 of free trade in the Americas was catalyzed by recognition of the harsh realities of food scarcity and the needs of local colonists reeling from a series of natural disasters. Weather-induced environmental crises and slow responses from imperial authorities, Johnson argues, played an inextricable and, until now, largely unacknowledged role in the rise of revolutionary sentiments in the eighteenth-century Caribbean.
About the Author
Sherry Johnson is professor of history at Florida International University.
For more information about Sherry Johnson, visit the Author Page.
“A provocative argument. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.”--Choice
“Lucid and highly readable, Climate and Catastrophe is an impressive contribution to environmental and Atlantic history.... An engaging and provocative read.”--H-Net Reviews
"Sherry Johnson provides a novel, sophisticated, and powerfully persuasive argument that many of the significant political changes in the Atlantic world during the Age of Revolution cannot be fully understood without reference to the environmental history. This highly original book is elegantly written and full of excellent and prodigious research."--Franklin W. Knight, The Johns Hopkins University
"With up-to-date, thorough scholarship and a fully original argument, Sherry Johnson offers a major intervention on questions of trade policy of the Spanish Caribbean Empire. No one has ever introduced notions of environmental crisis into these discussions of the Spanish colonial period. Ever."--J. R. McNeill, author of Mosquito Empires: Ecology and War in the Greater Caribbean, 1620–1914