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Analyzing a Secondary Source

Analyzinga Secondary Source

Analyzinga Secondary Source

Thetitle of the secondary source is TheAmerican Civil War: An Environmental Viewpublished in 2001 by JackTemple Kirby. The author’s thesis is to provide an ecological viewof the American civil war, which has repeatedly been neglected byscholars.


First,Kirby discusses the environmental movement to support the need for anenvironmental view of the civil war. The author argues that since1970 American society has embraced an environmental culture as wellas politics (Kirby, 2011). Thus, everyone now understands that humanactions have enormous implications on the environment. Then, theauthor explains the realization that war is an ecological disaster.Kirby argues that the environmental consequences of some of theworld’s worst conflicts have led to the recognition of theecological effects associated with war (Kirby, 2011). Kirby’s ideasare valid, well-researched, and supported by logical arguments.Besides, he presents his claims in a clear and concise manner.

Theauthor observes the lack of intersection between historiographiesof the civil war and the environment. He also notes that the lack ofinterest on the ecological effects of war by historians(Kirby, 2011).Kirbyalso explains that almost everyone in the world is now aware of theenvironmental effects of war. Therefore, he indicates that “on theother side, more than three decades of accumulated literature inenvironmental history barely touch the Civil War” (Kirby,2011).The quote shows the inadequate investigation of the ecologicaleffects of the civil war. The topic is discussed in Chapter 21 frompages 459 to 463.


Theauthor did not explain the extent of the environmental effects of thecivil war. Nonetheless, the source has helped me appreciate theimportance of the study on the ecological effects of war andacknowledge that armed conflicts have severe consequences.


Kirby,J. T. (2011). TheAmerican Civil War: An Environmental View. NationalHumanities Center,21, 459-463.