The of economic gain”(Steinberg 57) during, theThe of economic gain”(Steinberg 57) during, the

The book, Down to Earth, was organized more thematically than chronologically. Part I, “Chaos to Simplicity”, addresses Native Americans and their environment and the dramatic transformations following European contact. Part II, “Rationalization and Its Discontents”, focused more on “the way that new technologies and social innovations helped to harness the natural world into an instrument of economic gain”(Steinberg 57) during, the century following 1790. Part III, “Consuming Nature,” contemplates the environmental consequences of the development of a modern consumer culture in the United States. The carefully cited citations and an extensive bibliography proved to be quite helpful, the index is well organized and useful, and generous illustrations supplemented the text. Steinberg used a very persuasive format throughout his book, in addition, to using great word choices that help the reader thoroughly understand his point of view on the issue. Steinberg’s argument, is summarized in his conclusion, that a full comprehension of American history requires the people to portray nature as an active participant and not just as a backdrop in the evolution of human society over time. Social historians argue for writing history from the bottom up, on the other hand, Steinberg claims that history also needs to be written: “from the ground up”. Steinberg offered a useful overview of the historical interplay between people and their surroundings. Down to Earth offers a well-written, interesting, and insightful consideration of American history “from the ground up”. Steinberg is an excellent scholar who also knows how to tell a good story, keeping the reader engaged. The author provides many pictures to help the visual learners understand the text more. Another, strength of Ted Steinberg’s argument is proving an abundant amount of evidence, and what makes it so compelling is the current events that he uses to exemplify what the issue leads up to. For example, Steinberg provides a picture of a street banner saying “from iPod to iWaste: toxic trash, in your pocket” with a description explaining that “The Computer Take back Campaign called attention to Apple Computer’s mounting e-waste contribution at the 2005 MacWorld convention in San Francisco”(Steinberg 268). This is just one example of his way of sharing news and evidence to support and connect to his argument that nature has been taken for granted by the human society, and, at least, there are people in the world that, understand the problem, throughout all of these centuries, and advocate the idea of taking care and appreciating the environment. Although Steinberg is an excellent writer, he also, has a weakness of falling too short in finding more than one piece of evidence for each point he makes. For instance, in the first chapter he goes into great detail about the Civil War and how nature impacted it, but in the rest of the book, he never really went into detail with all of the other wars and battles America went through. Steinberg also lacked historical background for the United States, because he would just jump right into U.S. politics or social history, this would confuse a reader who is not familiar with American history, so adding more context and some basic timelines to make it easier to connect the ideas.