Toxic Archipelago has been well received among scholars of Japan, as well as environmental historians—it was the winner of the 2011 George Perkins Marsh Prize for the best book in environmental history. Brett Walker's study should also be of interest for science and technology studies scholars, especially those working on environmental and public health issues related to industrial pollution. It is based on a large set of secondary sources in English and Japanese, and while three of the six chapters are devoted to famous cases that have been extensively documented in Japanese and relatively well documented in Western languages, as well as in Chinese, Walker's interpretations are distinctive and stimulating. These cases are the ecological and medical disaster caused by the Ashio copper mine, the “it hurts, it hurts disease” (itai itai byō イタイイタイ病) caused by cadmium poisoning, and the case...

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