Classic works in social and environmental sciences?
January 20, 2009 8:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations on some must-read/classic literature from the social and environmental fields of science.

I am currently taking general ed classes in the hope of pursuing a degree in anthropology (I'll be applying at Uconn this semester) and need some good material to hold me over.

Thanks Metafilter
posted by jofuu to Education (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
A classic work on ethology/behaviour (not sure if that's too far outside your realm of interest) that I enjoyed was "King Solomon's Ring" by Konrad Lorenz who won the Nobel Prize with Niko Tinbergen. Anything by those two would be considered 'classic' and out of date - but enjoyable.
posted by hydrobatidae at 8:45 AM on January 20, 2009

Aldo Leopold's A Sand County Almanac.
posted by sulaine at 9:30 AM on January 20, 2009

A well-received book that combines both is Ecology of a Cracker Childhood by Janisse Ray.
posted by TedW at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
posted by Dr. Send at 10:25 AM on January 20, 2009

Read almost anything by John McPhee.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:21 PM on January 20, 2009

Best answer: Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
posted by sulaine at 12:36 PM on January 20, 2009

The Log from the "Sea of Cortez" by John Steinbeck and Ed "Doc" Ricketts. A must for anyone who does field work as well as a fast and entertaining read.
posted by rosebengal at 1:13 PM on January 20, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I marked sulaine's answer as best simply because I've read portions of Diamond's other work, "Collapse", and thought it was real swell.
posted by jofuu at 7:41 AM on January 21, 2009

A great place to get started is what I think of as the Coles Notes of academia: The Annual Reviews. There's one for anthropology, and there are several others that you may find interesting. The articles are generally well written summaries of academic work done on a particular topic within a particular discipline. Exploring whole issues for the last few years can give you an insight into where the discipline is at, or you can do topic searches to find out about the major theories, writers, and "must reads" on a given topic.
posted by carmen at 5:25 AM on February 22, 2009

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