Great Plains Studies, Center for



Francis Moul

Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 18, No.1, 2008. © 2008 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Environmental history is a fairly new and complex method of study. It is, according to historian Richard White, the history of consequences of human actions on the environment, and the reciprocal consequences of an altered nature on human society. This interaction thus combines natural history with social, economic, and political history, along with many more subspecies of study.

James Sherow's environmental history of America's grasslands is quite welcome. Although grass covers much of the earth's surface (12 billion of29 billion acres), it may be the least studied or popularized of plants. The National Grasslands of the U.S. are among the least known and used of all public lands (or even mentioned in this volume).