Spring 2020 catalog cover

The Penn Press list for spring 2020 includes hardcover releases, first-time paperbacks, and ebook editions intended for scholars, students, and serious general readers worldwide. Click here to explore our forthcoming books, grouped by subject area.

Energy Transition and the Local Community
A Theory of Society Applied to Hazleton, Pennsylvania

Dan Rose

256 pages | 6 x 9
Ebook 2016 | ISBN 9781512809619 | Buy from De Gruyter $79.95 | €69.95 | £70.50
This book is available under special arrangement from our European publishing partner De Gruyter.
An Anniversary Collection volume

"Minutely documented . . . an intriguing case study."—Science, Technology and Society

"Notable for its detailed social chronology of Hazleton, unfolded against a rich background of human ecological literary sources."—Environment Planning

The worldwide shift from coal to oil-based technology was devastating for many local communities. Energy Transition and the Local Community is the story of one such community: Hazleton, Pennsylvania. Hazleton's economy, dependent solely on the mining of surrounding beds of anthracite coal, was destroyed by the changeover to oil. Yet Hazleton, when confronted with a catastrophic recession and a declining population, organized to attract new industry and eventually saw its local economy revitalized.

Local communities are deeply affected whenever new forms of energy are exploited and older forms abandoned. Those communities, however, are almost uniformly ignored in ecological, environmental, and policy statements. Dan Rose, a specialist in the emerging science of human ecology, observes how energy-linked world economic fluctuations directly affect local economies. By merging theory with actual data from small communities, Rose is able to demonstrate how the decreasing availability of petroleum is pushing developed countries—exemplified by the community of Hazleton, Pennsylvania— into a new wave of recession.

Hazleton, as an example, offers hope. Using this community's experience to build a model, Rose defines both the vulnerability and the strength of local populations whose fortunes rest with the energy economy of the world. A working knowledge of this model will contribute to our understanding of human adaptation and help national and local leaders cope with an imminent energy changeover.

Dan Rose is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Landscape Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Ethnographic Writing, Patterns of American Culture and Black American Street Life.

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