Suddenly, reviews!

My book, Making a Green Machine: The Infrastructure of Beverage Container Recycling, came out in June 2011. Upon publication, Rutgers University Press, sent out review copies to all the main academic journals in history of technology, business, and environment. It took more than a year and a half before anything more happened – after all, academic publication moves at glacial speed, and so do reviews. But suddenly, a whole lot of book reviews showed up.

In Environmental History, J. F. M. Clark from University of St. Andrews called my book “an engaging business history”, but argues that I do not engage with the history of environmentalism and make no effort to “assess the broader environmental economics behind glass, aluminum, and plastic.”

In Technology and Culture, Stephen Sambrook at the Centre for Business History at the University of Glasgow characterized my book as a “blending of technological and cultural history with a leavening of business history, … providing insight into the complex relationships between the evolution of national environmental policies and the nexus of business interests, technological development, and everyday environmentalism.”

Most interesting, however, were the four reviews in the H-Environment Roundtable organized by Jake Hamblin. Tim Cooper, Peter Thorsheim, Heike Weber, Carl Zimring provided respectively one scathingly negative and three generally positive reviews. The roundtable format allowed me to write a response to the reviews, which is what generally makes the roundtables so interesting to read. If you want to find out why the one review was so negative, you should read the review – and my response! I can highly recommend not just the review of my book, but also all the other ones (there’s thirteen so far).


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