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Steven Stoll

Steven StollProfessor of History
Office: Martino Hall 425
Phone: 212-636-7345


PhD, Yale University, December 1994 (American History)

M Phil, Yale University, May 1992 (American History)

MA, Yale University, May 1990 (American History)

BA, University of California, Berkeley, Highest Distinction & Highest Honors in History, May 1988

Research Interests

I study the ways that people think about land, capital, and how what we call the economy functions within and extracts from ecological communities. I call myself an environmental historian, but my work is related to geography, social ecology, and political economy. Most of my work concerns agrarian societies in North America because agriculture offers the ideal vantage from which to observe the intersection of ideas and practices, economies and landscapes. I am writing a book about land, from the Ice Age to 2008.


Publications (Books)

Ramp Hollow: The Ordeal of Appalachia (New York: FSG/Hill & Wang, 2017).

The Great Delusion: A Mad Inventor, Death in the Tropics, and the Utopian Origins of Economic Growth (New York: Hill and Wang, 2008; paper, 2009).

U.S. Environmentalism Since 1945, A Brief History With Documents (New York: Bedford/St. Martin's, Bedford Series in History and Culture, 2006).

Larding the Lean Earth: Soil and Society in Nineteenth-Century America (New York: Hill and Wang, 2002; paper, 2003).

The Fruits of Natural Advantage: Making the Industrial Countryside in California (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1998).

Publications (Articles and Chapters)

“Plowed Earth Policies,” Reviews in American History 44 (2016): 104-109.

"The Captured Garden," International Labor and Working-Class History 85 (Spring 2013): 1-22.

"A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians," in The Oxford Handbook of Environmental History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2014).

"Nowhere, Fast: George Inness’s Short Cut and Agrarian Dispossession," Environmental History 18(Winter 2013).

"Farm Against Forest," in Michael Lewis, ed., American Wilderness (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007).

"The Smallholder's Dilemma," Journal of Technology and Culture 47(October 2006).

"Insects and Institutions: University Science and the Fruit Business in California," Agricultural History 69 (Spring 1995): 216-239.

Publications (Essays)

“No Man’s Land: On The Contradictions of Private Property,” Orion Magazine (February 2016).

Roundtable Review of Benjamin R. Cohen, Notes From the Ground: Science, Soil and Society in the American Countryside (Yale Press, 2009), H-Environment 3 (2013).

"The Mismeasure of All Things: How GDP Distorts Economic Reality," Orion Magazine (September-October 2012).

"Agrarian Anxieties," Harper’s Magazine (July 2010).

"Toward A Second Haitian Revolution, Harper’s Magazine (April 2010).

"The Cold We Caused," Harper’s Magazine (November 2009).

"Fictitious Commodities: The Delusion of Growth on Wall Street," The Chronicle Review of The Chronicle of Higher Education (October 3, 2008).

"Pattern Recognition," in Lapham’s Quarterly 1 (Summer 2008).

"The Best Hated Man: A Life With Karl Marx," The New Haven Review 1 (May 2008).

"Fear of Fallowing: The Specter of a No-Growth World" Harper’s Magazine (March 2008).

"Postmodern Farming, Quietly Flourishing," The Chronicle Review of The Chronicle of Higher Education (cover story, June 21, 2002).

"The Torch and the Hearth," The Atlantic (August 1998).

Courses Taught

North American Environmental History (lecture)
Environmental History of New York City (lecture/seminar/graduate seminar)
The Agrarian Republic (Understanding Historical Change, lecture)
American Indians (lecture/seminar)
Capitalism (lecture/seminar)
American West, 1490 to 2000 (lecture)
Climate and Society (seminar)
Readings in North American Environmental History (graduate seminar)
Political Philosophy

Curriculum Vitae

Steven Stoll welcomes inquires from students interested in graduate education in environmental history, agrarian societies, or capitalism.