The Vulnerable Planet

Buy at Monthly Review Press

The Vulnerable Planet: A Short Economic History of the Environment,” (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1994), 160 pp.
(A volume in the Cornerstone Books series; second edition, 1999.)

In this clearly written and accessible book, John Bellamy Foster grounds his discussion of the global environmental crisis in the inherently destructive nature of our world economic system. Rejecting both individualistic solutions and policies that tinker at the margins, Foster calls for a fundamental reorganization of production on a social basis so as to make possible a sustainable and ecological economy.

The Vulnerable Planet has won respect as the best single-volume introduction to the global environmental crisis. This edition includes a new afterword by the author.


  • Bangla language edition (Dhaka: Shahitya Prakash, 2010), with a new preface by the author.
  • Turkish language edition, (Maltepe-Ankara: EPOS Yayinlari, 2002).
  • Japanese edition, (Tokyo: Kobushi Forum/Sakai Agency, 2001), translated by Keiko Watanabe.
  • Telugu language edition (Andhra Padesh, India: Prajasakti), 2001.
  • Korean language edition, (Seoul: Dongzoknara, 1996)–contains new “Preface to the Korean Edition” by author.
  • Low cost edition, (Kharaaqpur, India: Cornerstone Publications, 1995)–for Indian market.
  • Chinese translation by Guo Jianren (Beijing: Commercial Press, 2013).
  • Chinese translation, Beijing University Press.
  • German translation (Hamburg: Laika-Verlag). Chapter 6, entitled “The Vulnerable Planet,” reprinted in Leslie King and Deborah McCarthy, Environmental Sociology: From Analysis to Action. (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005), pp. 3-15.

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