Kurkpatrick Dorsey. Whales and Nations: Environmental Diplomacy on the High Seas.

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The American Historical Review, ISSN: 0002-8762, Vol: 120, Issue: 1, Page: 196-197

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Payne, Brian
Oxford University Press (OUP)
book review; History
article description
In his book, Whales and Nations: Environmental Diplomacy on the High Seas, Kurkpatrick Dorsey does what all good historians must do: he stays focused on the context. Despite the potential sentimentalism Dorsey could have written into his history of whaling diplomacy, he avoids the trap of trade-book genres and remains throughout a very good evenhanded historian. By doing so Dorsey advances our understanding of how politics, science, and culture shaped resource conservation in the twentieth century. His history illustrates the complexity of resource conservation when so many different voices, national and cultural, compete to interpret a species and its environment.