This book provides a comprehensive overview of the very rich thinking about environmental issues which has grown up in Russia since the nineteenth century, a body of knowledge and thought which is not well known to Western scholars and environmentalists.  It shows how in the late nineteenth century there emerged in Russia distinct and strongly articulated representations of the earth’s physical systems within many branches of the natural sciences, representations which typically emphasised the completely integrated nature of natural systems.  It stresses the importance in these developments of V V Dokuchaev who significantly advanced the field of soil science. It goes on to discuss how this distinctly Russian approach to the environment developed further through the work of geographers and other environmental scientists down to the late Soviet period.

chapter 1|18 pages


Landscapes and earth systems – Russian geographical perspectives on the natural environment, 1880s–1960s

chapter 2|29 pages

The origins of the Russian geographical tradition

From Peter the Great to ca. 1880

chapter 3|30 pages

V. V. Dokuchaev and his school

Soil science, natural historical zones, and geographical understandings of the natural world

chapter 4|31 pages

Landscape science and the physical-geographical envelope

Conceptualizations of the physical environment during the early Soviet and Stalin periods

chapter 5|24 pages

The post-Second World War period (1945–1953)

Crisis in science and the Great Stalin Plan for the Transformation of Nature

chapter 7|11 pages