The Ecology of War in China is an ambitious book that delivers an intense vision of the tremendous hardships faced by the people and environment of the central Chinese province of Henan throughout a dozen years of Anti-Japanese Resistance, widespread famine, civil war, and, finally, recovery. Central to this history is the 1938 decision of Jiang Jieshi (Chiang Kai-shek), the Republic of China’s leader, to breech the dikes of the Yellow River, popularly known as China’s Sorrow even before this barbarism, thus perpetrating “perhaps the most environmentally damaging act of warfare in world history” (2). Muscolino shows how Jiang’s devastating wartime “strategy” and Japanese responses to it were distinctive forces of environmental change that were paralleled by the environment’s own impact on subsequent war and famine. In seven compelling chapters, Muscolino guides readers through his methodological approach before examining the Yellow River flood, various armies’ rapacious quest for energy that...

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