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Nature, the exotic, and the science of French colonialism

Author: Michael A Osborne
Publisher: Bloomington : Indiana University Press, 1994.
Series: Science, technology, and society (Bloomington, Ind.)
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
The colonization of Algeria in the nineteenth century was premised on the belief that Europeans, as well as non-indigenous animals and plants, could acclimatize to life in North Africa. While traditional French science showed little interest in such practical matters as attempting to adapt exotic plants and animals to new environments, support came from the Societe zoologique d'acclimatation - the "French Sierra
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Osborne, Michael A.
Nature, the exotic, and the science of French colonialism.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1994
(OCoLC)608479233
Online version:
Osborne, Michael A.
Nature, the exotic, and the science of French colonialism.
Bloomington : Indiana University Press, ©1994
(OCoLC)624379602
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Michael A Osborne
ISBN: 025334266X 9780253342669
OCLC Number: 28379173
Description: xvi, 216 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: 1. The Origins and Emergence of the Societe zoologique d'acclimatation --
2. From the Liberal Empire to the Great War: The Long and Circuitous Journey Back to the Museum --
3. The Scientific Basis of Acclimatization in France --
4. The Jardin zoologique d'acclimatation --
5. The Provincial Acclimatization Movement --
6. Applied Natural History and the Colonization of Algeria.
Series Title: Science, technology, and society (Bloomington, Ind.)
Responsibility: Michael A. Osborne.

Abstract:

The colonization of Algeria in the nineteenth century was premised on the belief that Europeans, as well as non-indigenous animals and plants, could acclimatize to life in North Africa. While traditional French science showed little interest in such practical matters as attempting to adapt exotic plants and animals to new environments, support came from the Societe zoologique d'acclimatation - the "French Sierra Club"--Whose story is the subject of this book. Because its work was politically useful in support of France's colonial ambitions in Algeria and elsewhere, the Society found favor with Napoleon III's government, and its influence was soon widespread. For example, the Society fostered the creation of nature preserves in Africa and zoos in Paris, and its ideas changed the research agendas of pure science as well.

In this major study of how the acquisition of empire affected French science, Michael A. Osborne treats in turn the founding of the Society and its evolution to 1920; its monument to Napoleon III's "modern" Paris, the Jardin zoologique d'acclimatation; the Society's core scientific ideology of Lamarckian transformation; the history of provincial acclimatization societies in Nancy and Grenoble; and the Society's activities in the colonies of the new French empire. An important study of the patronage and politics of science, this book offers new insights for students of environmentalism, science history and policy, and modern European history.

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