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Big Box USA

The Environmental Impact of America's Biggest Retail Stores

edited by Bart Elmore, Rachel S. Gross, and Sherri Sheu

Hardcover Price $95.00
Paperback Price $24.95
Ebook Price $20.95
30-day ebook rental price $11.00

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“Through compelling case studies the authors show how to integrate business and environmental history in grounded ways (actual physically grounded ways)—beyond analyses of firms or corporate organization. They encourage readers to consider the consumer culture that led to big box stores and the environmental impacts of the stores’ rise to prominence.”
—Benjamin R. Cohen, Lafayette College
 “A significant contribution to environmental history, as well as business and US history generally. Intellectually stimulating and engagingly written.”
—Ai Hisano, University of Tokyo
Big Box USA presents a new look at how the big box retail store has dramatically reshaped the US economy and its ecosystems in the last half century. From the rural South to the frigid North, from inside stores to ecologies far beyond, this book examines the relationships that make up one of the most visible features of late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century American life. 
The rise of big box retail since the 1960s has transformed environments on both local and global scales. Almost everyone has explored the aisles of big box stores. The allure of “everyday low prices” and brightly colored products of every kind connect shoppers with a global marketplace. Contributors join a growing conversation between business and environmental history, addressing the ways American retail institutions have affected physical and cultural ecologies around the world. Essays on Walmart, Target, Cabela’s, REI, and Bass Pro Shops assess the “bigness” of these superstores from “smokestacks to coat racks” and contend that their ecological impacts are not limited to the footprints of parking lots and manufacturing but also play a didactic role in educating consumers about their relationships with the environment.
 A model for historians seeking to bring business and environmental histories together in their analyses of merchant capital’s role in the landscapes of everyday life and how it has remade humanrelationships with nature, Big Box USA is a must-read for students and scholars of the environment, business, sustainability, retail professionals, and a general audience.
The ebook edition will be made open access within three years of publication thanks to Path to Open, a program developed  to bring about equitable access and impact for the entire scholarly community, including authors, researchers, libraries, and university presses around the world.Learn more
Contributors: Shane Hamilton, Laura Martin, Aaron Van Neste, Johnathan Williams

Bart Elmore is professor of environmental history, a core faculty member of the Sustainability Institute at Ohio State University, and author of the award-winning Citizen Coke, as well as Seed Money and Country Capitalism

Rachel S. Gross is assistant professor of history at the University of Colorado Denver, where she teaches US environmental, business, and public history. She is the author of Shopping All the Way to the Woods: How the Outdoor Industry Sold Nature to America. 

Sherri Sheu is the Haas Curatorial Fellow at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia and former councilor-at-large for the American Historical Association.

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  • Hardcover Price: $95.00
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-64642-592-1
  • Paperback Price: $24.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-64642-593-8
  • Ebook Price: $20.95
  • 30-day ebook rental price: $11.00
  • EISBN: 978-1-64642-594-5
  • Publication Month: April
  • Publication Year: 2024
  • Pages: 234
  • Illustrations: 18
  • Discount Type: Short
  • Author: edited by Bart Elmore, Rachel S. Gross, and Sherri Sheu
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-64642-593-8
  • Get Permissions: Get Permission

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