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USU Professor's Book "Best of the Best"

Thursday, Mar. 30, 2006

Christoper Conte

USU history professor Christoper Conte, whose book made a top list by "Choice" magazine.

A book by Utah State University faculty member Christopher Conte has been included in a list of the “best of the best” by Choice Magazine, a publication of the American Library Association.

Conte’s book, Highland Sanctuary: Environmental History in Tanzania’s Usambara Mountains, was included in the 2006 listing of “Outstanding Academic Titles” by Choice. Highland Sanctuary was published by Ohio University Press.
Every year in January, Choice publishes a list of what it describes as the outstanding academic titles reviewed during the previous calendar year. The list is selective. It includes only 10 percent of some 6,600 works it reviews each year. According to its Web site, Choice editors base their selections on the reviewer’s evaluation of the work, the editor’s knowledge of the field and the reviewer’s record. Until the year 2000, the list was known as “Outstanding Academic Books.” The new name reflects an increase in reviews of electronic products and Internet sites.
Conte is an associate professor of history at USU. He teaches African and environmental history and directs the history department’s graduate program. He is the author of several articles on ecological change in east Africa’s highlands.
Highland Sanctuary unravels the complex interactions among agriculture, herding, forestry, the colonial state and the landscape itself,” Ohio University Press said of Conte’s book. “In his examination of the region’s history of ecological transformation, Christopher Conte demonstrates how these forces have combined to create an ever-changing mosaic of forest and field. His study illuminates the debate over conservation, arguing that contingency and chance, the stuff of human history, have shaped forests in ways that rival the power of nature. In Highland Sanctuary, the forest becomes part of human history, rather than something outside of it.”
“In this truly groundbreaking study, Conte (Utah State Univ.) provides a temporal vision of the area that, in the author’s words, ‘joins natural and human history in a way that illuminates the paradoxes inherent in landscapes,’” the Choice review said. “This fascinating study deserves the attention of a wide variety of scholars and development experts.”
According to its Web site, Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries is the premier source for reviews of academic books, electronic media and Internet resources of interest to those in higher education. More than 35,000 librarians, faculty and key decision makers rely on Choice magazine and for collection development and scholarly research. “Choice” reaches almost every undergraduate college and university library in the United States.
The American Library Association, the publisher of Choice, is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 64,000 members.
For information on Highland Sanctuary, contact Conte at Utah State University, (435) 797-1303.

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