OAH Distinguished Lecturer Profile

Adam Rome

Portrait of Adam Rome
Image Credit: Evan Knape

A specialist in environmental history, Adam Rome is the author of two books: The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation (2013) and The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism (2001), which won the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award. He also is a coeditor of Green Capitalism? Business and the Environment in the Twentieth Century (2017). A former editor of Environmental History, he is writing the environmental history volume for the Oxford University Press Very Short Introduction series. He also is working on a book about efforts to green American business since the late 1980s.

Featured Lecture

OAH Lectures

The first Earth Day had a power and freshness that are hard to imagine now. Earth Day 1970 inspired the first green generation. Earth Day 1970 also helped to build a lasting eco-infrastructure. What made the event so powerful?
Fashion used to be limited to what people wore, but now fashion shapes much else in American society, from cars to consumer electronics. Though we often think of fashion solely as a cultural issue, fashion has had profound environmental consequences. This talk will consider the environmental history of fashion from the age of beaver hats to the present.
The last 30 years have been a revealing test of the limits of corporate sustainability initiatives. In the United States, no major environmental legislation has passed since 1990, yet many businesses have worked hard to become greener. How successful have their efforts been? What has driven change, and what has stood in the way? The answers to those questions offer important insight into what we still need to do to build a sustainable economy.