Worster, Nature's Economy: The Roots of
Ecology (San Francisco: Sierra Club Books,
Nature's Economy is a wide-ranging investigation
of ecology's past. It traces the origins of
the concept, discusses the thinkers who have
shaped it, and shows how it in turn has shaped
the modern perception of our place in nature.
The book includes portraits of Linnaeus, Gilbert
White, Darwin, Thoreau, and such key twentieth-century
ecologists as Rachel Carson, Frederic Clements,
Aldo Leopold, James Lovelock, and Eugene Odum.
Like most historians, Worster portrayed the
history of ecology through the window of Darwinian
evolutionary theory. The contributions of 18th
century scientists such as Linnaeus are important
primarily because they inform the synthesis
of charles Darwin's work with natural history.
This history ignores the impact thermodynamic
sciences like plant physiology and microbiology
had on ecological thought and science.