Environmental Justice, Environmentalism, and Environmental History in Twentieth-Century Latin America

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Environmental histories of Latin America have reached a critical mass. The breadth, depth, and sophistication of this new literature merit comparisons to less conventionally environmental topics, such as labor and politics, and new strands of environmental research, such as environmental justice. While the field of Latin American environmental history for the twentieth century is far from complete or comprehensive, one of its strengths is the simultaneous consideration of social relationships (including struggles for justice) and the natural world. Rather than a need to catch up with other historiographies that have bifurcated environmental history and environmental justice, this integrated model of investigation places recent scholarship in a strategic place to make history more policy relevant. Going forward, scholars should continue to find and fuse environmental history and environmental justice studies and refrain from letting distinctions among subfields conceal rich thematic harmony.