190 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 13 halftones, 5 maps
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-4696-4983-2
Published: January 2020
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-4982-5
Published: January 2020
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-4984-9
Published: November 2019
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Greer examines the lives, writings, and collections of a number of ornithologist-officers, arguing that the transnational encounters between military men and birds simultaneously shaped military strategy, ideas about race and masculinity, and conceptions of the British Empire. Collecting specimens and tracking migratory bird patterns enabled these men to map the British Empire and the world and therefore to exert imagined control over it. Through its examination of the influence of bird watching on military science and soldiers’ contributions to ornithology, Red Coats and Wild Birds remaps empire, nature, and scientific inquiry in the nineteenth-century world.
About the Author
Kirsten A. Greer is associate professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Histories and Geographies at Nipissing University.
For more information about Kirsten A. Greer, visit the Author Page.
“Through its examination of the influence of bird watching on military science and soldiers' contributions to ornithology, Red Coats and Wild Birds remaps empire, nature, and scientific inquiry in the nineteenth-century world. . . . [This] impressively informative and groundbreaking history . . . is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended addition to community, college and university library British Military History collections and supplemental curriculum studies.”—Midwest Book Review
“A powerful affirmation for the value of ‘critical historical geography’ and how such work demonstrates the need to deconstruct the colonial imaginaries that continue to circulate within natural history and conservation debates today.”—Journal of Historical Geography
“A fascinating study by a scholar whose work will undoubtedly influence our perceptions of the British Empire.”—Journal of British Studies
“Thoroughly researched and steeped in theories of knowledge and surveillance. . . . [A] cohesive and compelling narrative.”—H-War
"Red Coats and Wild Birds is innovative, well researched, and well written. There is simply nothing like this book."--Nancy Jacobs, Brown University
"An inventive and attractive work, this book documents the ways in which the study of ornithology and bird collecting intersected with--and contributed to--British military and imperial endeavors in the Mediterranean region at the height of empire."--Janet Browne, Harvard University