Economic growth since the Industrial Revolution has been achieved at great cost both to the natural environment and to the autonomy of communities. What can a Marxist perspective contribute to understanding this disturbing legacy, and mitigating its impact on future generations? Renowned social theorist James O'Connor shows how the policies and imperatives of business and government influence—and are influenced by—environmental and social change. Probing the relationship between economy, nature, and society, O'Connor argues that environmental and social crises pose a growing threat to capitalism itself. These illuminating essays and case studies demonstrate the power of ecological Marxist analysis for understanding our diverse environmental and social history, for grounding economic behavior in the real world, and for formulating and evaluating new political strategies.