The Books Behind History 219: Planet Earth: Past, Present, and Future

This exhibit showcases the books that influenced the creation of a Trinity College class “Planet Earth.”

The class explores the effect of the natural world on human history and of humans on the natural world. Our focus is on the earth as a global system. We begin with a consideration of human and natural histories in deep time, well before the written record, and offer an argument for why those histories matter. We then examine how the historical past can be understood in the context of these planetary themes, reframing familiar events and periods in ancient and modern history by highlighting major natural changes that accompanied them, such as the redistribution of various plants and animals, the fluctuation of climate, and the development of planet-altering technologies. The course culminates in a consideration of the future planetary conditions that past and present actions may cause.  


Most of the books listed here are also on exhiit in the Trinity College Library on Level A near the circulation desk. They are available to be checked out and read. A few are also available online.