James E. McWilliams

James McWilliams is an Ingram professor of history at Texas State University-San Marcos.
How the 1% Gardens

How the 1% Gardens

Somehow, airlifting a tree into place misses the point.

Somehow, airlifting a tree into place misses the point. Read More


World’s End

In 1994 an 11-year-old boy rode his bike through a Pennsylvania field that had just been covered in sewer sludge. Three days later he was dead of a staph infection. The incident seemed random. A year later a teenage boy … Read More


Big River

In the course of writing a book recently on the history of insecticides, I found myself continually frustrated by the ease with which so many otherwise intelligent people made environmentally stupid choices. The only obvious explanation for their ineptitude in … Read More


Doomed If We Do, or Doomed If We Don’t?

Globalization cuts both ways. On the one hand, it’s a capitalistic assault on indigenous knowledge, a conspiracy orchestrated by neoliberal nuts who want to turn nation-states into market states, outsource wage-labor and military tasks, and dump the true costs of … Read More


More Than One Man Can Chew

Big claims. Not too much support. Mostly unconvincing. That’s my nutshell response to Michael Pollan’s most recent answer to “the supposedly incredibly complicated and confusing question of what we humans should eat in order to be maximally healthy.” Tough assessment, … Read More


Moveable Feast

Eating Local Isn’t Always the Greenest Option

Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally Eat Local. So goes the slogan for Farm to Market, … Read More


Ducking the God Question

Darwin’s Gift: To Science and Religion The Creation-Evolution Debate As often happens when a topic lands in the eye of a media hurricane, Darwinian evolution is now being examined from a sensationalistic extreme. “Creation science” serves as the reliable bogeyman … Read More


Torture American Style

On March 27, The New York Times reported that Guantanamo Bay prisoner David Hicks, a 31-year-old Australian with some al-Qaida training, had pleaded guilty to supporting a terrorist organization. It was the first conviction of a Guantanamo detainee under the … Read More