My book ‘Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality’ published in the USA

My book below is published in the USA this week and can be ordered from, the French, Japanese and Canadian Amazon websites and other websites. It will be available for delivery from the UK soon. Here is the link to order from

Venice in Environmental Peril? Myth and Reality


Venice and its environment are perceived to be in peril due to rising sea levels, tourism, and modern development. Are these threats myths or reality? This book explores Venice’s environmental risks based on interviews with Venetian environmental campaigners and draws on the mythology of the Venetian Republic. Campaigners’ opinions about the mobile dams nearing completion to protect the city reveal that Venice now represents an environmentally-threatened retreat from modernity. This reputation has been established as sustainable development and climate change policies have risen to the top of political agendas in many cities and countries. The book investigates how environmentalism has been transformed from a theory underpinning counter-cultural movements to part of a dominant holistic culture in Western societies. Rather than constraining Venice in search of a mythical harmony with nature, this book offers a ten-point proposal to modernize the city while preserving its ancient heritage.


“Venice is a glory of human achievement, and this book is the human-centered defense that the city deserves.” Mick Hume, columnist for The Times (London).

“…A groundbreaking book for understanding the politicization of the environment.” Dr Frank Furedi, professor of sociology, University of Kent.

“…In Venice it’s impossible to ignore the cases where the science has been affected by politics.” Jane Da Mosto, co-author of The Science of Saving Venice (2004).

From the Back Cover:

“Standish has succeeded in locating the transforming history of Venice as metaphor for Western preoccupations and self-understanding – from the highest realization of mercantile politics and republican statehood through romance and degenerate decadence, to its contemporary invocation as a symbol of unease and discomfort with the achievements of modernity and the attempt to master nature. This is an important contribution to the critique of the diminished political and historical imagination that underpins the construction of climate change as an insurmountable social problem.” Dr James Panton, lecturer in politics, St John’s College, University of Oxford.

“Standish’s project is to re-conceptualize Venice’s historic relationship to human endeavor and to remind us that it was the energy and innovation of Venetians themselves that made Venice great. He succeeds admirably. His book is a valuable contribution not only to Venice’s future but to the wider debate on the efficacy of human intervention.” Alan Hudson, director of Leadership Programs for China, University of Oxford.

About the Author
Dominic Standish, Ph.D., is British and lectures for the University of Iowa at its CIMBA campus in the Venice region of Italy, where he has lived since 1997. For additional resources and updates about issues examined in the book see

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    The banner image displayed at the top of each page on this website is adapted from the painting 'Ancient and Modern' by Patrick Hughes. I would like to thank him for generously offering this painting for use on this website.
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