Libraries full of books have been, and could yet still be, written about the human and cultural devastation left behind following wars. Far fewer are available that take up the subject of the scars they leave upon the environment – and of these, only one, the just released The Long Shadows; A Global Environmental History of the Second World War, focuses exclusively on the global environmental effects of the largest war the world has yet seen.

Written by the multi-disciplinary trio of Simo Laakkonen, Richard P. Tucker, and Timo Vuorisalo, and published by Oregon State University Press, The Long Shadows is “devoted exclusively to World War II and its profound and lasting impact on global environments, encompassing polar, temperate and tropical ecological zones.”

Given the increasingly precarious state of the global environment, and the cold hard fact that modern day war-mongers are now in positions of power in many of the nations that were the principal combatants in World War II, I can’t help but think that this will be a book that we all should be reading…  and soon.