Genevieve Massard-Guilbaud and Richard Rodger have set the right tone with the focus of this book and the selection of essays. They argue that European historical scholarship has yet to fully embrace the study of “environmental inequalities,” much less the American-derived “environmental justice.” In the United States, concern over environmental racism in the 1980s was strongly linked to questions of civil rights and to a strong impulse among founders of the environmental justice movement to press their case politically. New scholarship was a tool to awaken the political objective. The context in Europe has not been the same, and thus environmental inequality or environmental injustice may be perceived differently.

Part of the distinction is definition, that is, to what...

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