Civilization from its origins has depended on the food, fibre, and other commodities produced by farmers. In this unique exploration of the world history of agriculture, Mark B. Tauger looks at farmers, farming, and their relationships to non-farmers from the classical societies of the Mediterranean and China through to the twenty-first century.? Viewing farmers as the most important human interface between civilization and the natural world, Agriculture in World History examines the ways that urban societies have both exploited and supported farmers, and together have endured the environmental changes and crises that threatened food production.? Accessibly written and following a chronological structure, Agriculture in World History illuminates these topics through studies of farmers in numerous countries all over the world from Antiquity to the contemporary period. Key themes addressed include the impact of global warming, the role of political and social transformations, and the development of agricultural technology. In particular, the book highlights the complexities of recent decades: increased food production, declining numbers of farmers, and environmental, economic, and political challenges to increasing food production against the demands of a growing population. This wide-ranging survey will be an indispensable text for students of world history, and for anyone interested in the historical development of the present agricultural and food crises.?
The second edition of this concise survey offers a comparative and comprehensive study of culinary cultures and food politics throughout the world, from ancient times to the present day. It examines the long history of globalization of foods as well as the political, social, and environmental implications of our changing relationship with food, showing how hunger and taste have been driving forces in human history. Including numerous case studies from diverse societies and periods, Food in World History explores such questions as: What social factors have historically influenced culinary globalization? How did early modern plantations establish patterns for modern industrial food production? Were eighteenth-century food riots comparable to contemporary social movements around food? Did Italian and Chinese migrant cooks sacrifice authenticity to gain social acceptance in the Americas? Have genetically modified foods fulfilled the promises made by proponents? This new edition includes expanded discussions of gender and the family, indigeneity, and the politics of food. Expanded chapters on contemporary food systems and culinary pluralism examine debates over the concentration of corporate control over seeds and marketing, authenticity and exoticism within the culinary tourism industry, and the impact of social media on restaurants and home cooks.
Taking a global look at what the category of childhood has meant from agricultural societies to the present day, Childhood in World History offers a vital overview of this topical field. Through comparative analysis, Peter Stearns facilitates a cross-cultural and transnational understanding of attitudes towards the role of children in society, and how "models" of childhood have developed throughout history. Engaging with issues around children’s role in the family and the involvement of communal, national, educational, and global infrastructures, Stearns unpacks the experience of childhood in the West, Asia, Latin America, and Africa. This expanded and updated third edition includes: updated bibliographies and suggested readings expanded discussions of religion and children’s rights a new chapter on families in developing economies in the early twentieth century broadened discussions of childhood in Japan and in communist countries. With expanded further reading lists, Stearns’s accessible text not only provides an overview of its field but also offers a research guide for more specialized study. Concisely presented but broad in scope, Stearns’s accessible text guides readers through the transformations of the concept of childhood.
This book examines sexuality in the past, and explores how it helps explain sexuality in the present. The subject of sexuality is often a controversial one, and exploring it through a world history perspective emphasizes the extent to which societies, including our own, are still reacting to historical change through contemporary sexual behaviors, values, and debates. The study uses a clear chronological structure to focus on major patterns and changes in sexuality—both sexual culture and sexual behaviors—in the main periods of world history, covering topics including: • The sexual implications of the transition from hunting and gathering economies to agricultural economies; • Sexuality in classical societies; • The postclassical period and the spread of the world religions; • Sex in an age of trade and colonies; • Changes in sexual behaviors and sexual attitudes between 1750 and 1950; • Sex in contemporary world history. This new edition examines these issues on a global scale, with attention to anthropological insights on sexuality and their relationship to history, the dynamics between sexuality and imperialism, sexuality in industrial society, and trends and conflicts surrounding views of sex and sexuality in the contemporary world.
Only once we understand the long history of human efforts to draw sustenance from the land can we grasp the nature of the crisis that faces humankind today, as hundreds of millions of people are faced with famine or flight from the land. From Neolithic times through the earliest civilizations of the ancient Near East, in savannahs, river valleys and the terraces created by the Incas in the Andean mountains, an increasing range of agricultural techniques have developed in response to very different conditions. These developments are recounted in this book, with detailed attention to the ways in which plants, animals, soil, climate, and society have interacted. Mazoyer and Roudart’s A History of World Agriculture is a path-breaking and panoramic work, beginning with the emergence of agriculture after thousands of years in which human societies had depended on hunting and gathering, showing how agricultural techniques developed in the different regions of the world, and how this extraordinary wealth of knowledge, tradition and natural variety is endangered today by global capitialism, as it forces the unequal agrarian heritages of the world to conform to the norms of profit. During the twentieth century, mechanization, motorization and specialization have brought to a halt the pattern of cultural and environmental responses that characterized the global history of agriculture until then. Today a small number of corporations have the capacity to impose the farming methods on the planet that they find most profitable. Mazoyer and Roudart propose an alternative global strategy that can safegaurd the economies of the poor countries, reinvigorate the global economy, and create a livable future for mankind.
In the last two centuries, agriculture has been an outstanding, if somewhat neglected, success story. Agriculture has fed an ever-growing population with an increasing variety of products at falling prices, even as it has released a growing number of workers to the rest of the economy. This book, a comprehensive history of world agriculture during this period, explains how these feats were accomplished. Feeding the World synthesizes two hundred years of agricultural development throughout the world, providing all essential data and extensive references to the literature. It covers, systematically, all the factors that have affected agricultural performance: environment, accumulation of inputs, technical progress, institutional change, commercialization, agricultural policies, and more. The last chapter discusses the contribution of agriculture to modern economic growth. The book is global in its reach and analysis, and represents a grand synthesis of an enormous topic.
In Peace in World History, Peter N. Stearns examines the ideas of peace that have existed throughout history, and how societies have sought to put them into practice. Beginning with the status of peace in early hunter-gatherer and agricultural societies, and continuing through the present day, the narrative gives students a clear view of the ways people across the world have understood and striven to achieve peace throughout history. Topics covered include: Comparison of the ‘pax Romana’ and ‘pax Sinica’ of Rome and China Concepts of peace in Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, and their historical impact The place of peace in the periods of expanding empires The emergence, starting in the 19th century, of formal schemes to promote peace amid increasingly destructive technologies for warfare Moving away from the view of history as a series of military conflicts, Peace in World History offers a new way of looking at world history by focusing on peace. Showing how concepts of peace have evolved over time even as they have been challenged by war and conflict, this lively and engaging narrative enables students to consider peace as a human possibility.
Earlier this year, President Obama declared one of his top priorities to be “making sure that people are able to get enough to eat.” The United States spends about five billion dollars on food aid and related programs each year, but still, both domestically and internationally, millions of people are hungry. In 2006, the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations counted 850 million hungry people worldwide, but as food prices soared, an additional 100 million or more who were vulnerable succumbed to food insecurity. If hunger were simply a matter of food production, no one would go without. There is more than enough food produced annually to provide every living person with a healthy diet, yet so many suffer from food shortages, unsafe water, and malnutrition every year. That’s because hunger is a complex political, economic, and ecological phenomenon. The interplay of these forces produces a geography of hunger that Thomas J. Bassett and Alex Winter-Nelson illuminate in this empowering book. The Atlas of World Hunger uses a conceptual framework informed by geography and agricultural economics to present a hunger index that combines food availability, household access, and nutritional outcomes into a single tool—one that delivers a fuller understanding of the scope of global hunger, its underlying mechanisms, and the ways in which the goals for ending hunger can be achieved. The first depiction of the geography of hunger worldwide, the Atlas will be an important resource for teachers, students, and anyone else interested in understanding the geography and causes of hunger. This knowledge, the authors argue, is a critical first step toward eliminating unnecessary suffering in a world of plenty.
History teaches us that agricultural growth and development is necessary for achieving overall better living conditions in all societies. Although this process may seem homogenous when looked at from the outside, it is full of diversity within. This book captures this diversity by presenting eleven independent case studies ranging over time and space. By comparing outcomes, attempts are made to draw general conclusion and lessons about the agricultural transformation process.
This innovative text provides a compelling narrative world history through the lens of food and farmers. Tracing the history of agriculture from earliest times to the present, Christopher Isett and Stephen Miller argue that people, rather than markets, have been the primary agents of agricultural change. Exploring the actions taken by individuals and groups over time and analyzing their activities in the wider contexts of markets, states, wars, the environment, population increase, and similar factors, the authors emphasize how larger social and political forces inform decisions and lead to different technological outcomes. Both farmers and elites responded in ways that impeded economic development. Farmers, when able to trade with towns, used the revenue to gain more land and security. Elites used commercial opportunities to accumulate military power and slaves. The book explores these tendencies through rich case studies of ancient China; precolonial South America; early-modern France, England, and Japan; New World slavery; colonial Taiwan; socialist Cuba; and many other periods and places. Readers will understand how the promises and problems of contemporary agriculture are not simply technologically derived but are the outcomes of decisions and choices people have made and continue to make.
In The Industrial Turn in World History, Peter N. Stearns presents a concise yet far reaching overview of the worldwide shift from agricultural societies to industrial societies over the past two centuries. Putting the implications for individuals and societies in global context while simultaneously considering the limits of generalization across cultures, Stearns’s text explores the nature of industrialization across national and regional lines. Rather than portraying the Industrial Revolution as primarily a Western, early 19th-century development, this new narrative argues that the move to industrial societies is an ongoing and truly global shift. Taking a largely social and cultural approach, Stearns engages with the leading-edge approach of looking at emotion historically—allowing readers to ask questions about the impact of industrial society on emotional experience and happiness levels. This innovating framing allows for use in a variety of courses, including world history, economic history, and more general courses on the Industrial Revolution.
Paul Bairoch sets the record straight on twenty commonly held myths about economic history. Among these are that free trade and population growth have historically led to periods of economic growth; that a move away from free trade caused the Great Depression; and that colonial powers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries became rich through the exploitation of the Third World. Bairoch argues that these beliefs are based on insufficient knowledge and misguided interpretations of the economic history of the United States, Europe, and the Third World. "A challenging and readable introduction to some major controversial themes in modern international economic history."—Peter J. Cain, International History Review "Paul Bairoch sheds fascinating light on many of the accepted truths of modern economic history: an intriguing account, well executed."—Alfred L. Malabre, Jr., Economics Editor, Wall Street Journal
Thirty-three essays by a stellar collection of distinguished scholars in the field of world history, providing a comprehensive guide to current scholarship and current thinking in one of the most dynamic fields of historical scholarship
Themes in the Historical Geography of France compiles several selected themes in the historical geography of France. This book discusses the practice of historical geography in France; peopling and the origins of settlement; early urban development; and retreat of rural settlement. The regional contrasts in agrarian structure; reclamation of coastal marshland; petite culture on 1750-1850; and reclamation of wasteland during the 18th and 19th centuries are also elaborated. This compilation likewise covers the historical geography of Western France; urban growth on 1500-1900; and agricultural change and industrial development in the 18th and 19th centuries. This publication is beneficial to historians and geographers aiming to acquire knowledge of the historical geography of France.
This book explores the significance of the peach as a cultural icon and viable commodity in the American South.
"I'm embarrassed to say I thought I knew anything substantial about Wisconsin agriculture or its history before I read this book. 'Wisconsin Agriculture' should be required reading in history classes from high school to the collegiate level. It makes me thankful that Jerry Apps has such a sense of commitment to Wisconsin's agricultural heritage--and to getting the story right." --Pam Jahnke, Farm Director, Wisconsin Farm Report Radio Wisconsin has been a farming state from its very beginnings. And though it's long been known as "the Dairy State," it produces much more than cows, milk, and cheese. In fact, Wisconsin is one of the most diverse agricultural states in the nation. The story of farming in Wisconsin is rich and diverse as well, and the threads of that story are related and intertwined. In this long-awaited volume, celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps examines everything from the fundamental influences of landscape and weather to complex matters of ethnic and pioneer settlement patterns, changing technology, agricultural research and education, and government regulations and policies. Along with expected topics, such as the cranberry industry and artisan cheesemaking, "Wisconsin Agriculture" delves into beef cattle and dairy goats, fur farming and Christmas trees, maple syrup and honey, and other specialty crops, including ginseng, hemp, cherries, sugar beets, mint, sphagnum moss, flax, and hops. Apps also explores new and rediscovered farming endeavors, from aquaculture to urban farming to beekeeping, and discusses recent political developments, such as the 2014 Farm Bill and its ramifications. And he looks to the future of farming, contemplating questions of ethical growing practices, food safety, sustainability, and the potential effects of climate change. Featuring first-person accounts from the settlement era to today, along with more than 200 captivating photographs, "Wisconsin Agriculture" breathes life into the facts and figures of 150 years of farming history and provides compelling insights into the state's agricultural past, present, and future.
From 1200 BCE to 900 CE, the world witnessed the rise of powerful new states and empires, as well as networks of cross-cultural exchange and conquest. Considering the formation and expansion of these large-scale entities, this fourth volume of the Cambridge World History series outlines key economic, political, social, cultural, and intellectual developments that occurred across the globe in this period. Leading scholars examine critical transformations in science and technology, economic systems, attitudes towards gender and family, social hierarchies, education, art, and slavery. The second part of the volume focuses on broader processes of change within western and central Eurasia, the Mediterranean, South Asia, Africa, East Asia, Europe, the Americas and Oceania, as well as offering regional studies highlighting specific topics, from trade along the Silk Roads and across the Sahara, to Chaco culture in the US southwest, to Confucianism and the state in East Asia.
In the years before the Second World War agriculture in most European states was carried out on peasant or small family farms using technologies that relied mainly on organic inputs and local knowledge and skills, supplying products into a market that was partly local or national, partly international. The war applied a profound shock to this system. In some countries farms became battlefields, causing the extensive destruction of buildings, crops and livestock. In others, farmers had to respond to calls from the state for increased production to cope with the effects of wartime disruption of international trade. By the end of the war food was rationed when it was obtainable at all. Only fifteen years later the erstwhile enemies were planning ways of bringing about a single agricultural market across much of continental western Europe, as farmers mechanised, motorized, shed labour, invested capital, and adopted new technologies to increase output. This volume brings together scholars working on this period of dramatic technical, commercial and political change in agriculture, from the end of the Second World War to the emergence of the Common Agricultural Policy in the early 1960s. Their work is structured around four themes: the changes in the international political order within which agriculture operated; the emergence of a range of different market regulation schemes that preceded the CAP; changes in technology and the extent to which they were promoted by state policy; and the impact of these political and technical changes on rural societies in western Europe.
In recent years, Mediterranean agriculture has experienced important transformations which have led to new forms of labour and production, and in particular to a surge in the recruitment of migrant labour. The Mediterranean Basin represents a very interesting arena that is able to illustrate labour conditions and mobility, the competition among different farming models, and the consequences in terms of the proletarianization process, food crisis and diet changes. Migration and Agriculture brings together international contributors from across several disciplines to describe and analyse labour conditions and international migrations in relation to agri-food restructuring processes. This unique collection of articles connects migration issues with the proletarianization process and agrarian transitions that have affected Southern European as well as some Middle Eastern and Northern African countries in different ways. The chapters present case studies from a range of territories in the Mediterranean Basin, offering empirical data and theoretical analysis in order to grasp the complexity of the processes that are occurring. This book offers a uniquely comprehensive overview of migrations, territories and agro-food production in this key region, and will be an indispensable resource to scholars in migration studies, rural sociology, social geography and the political economy of agriculture.
The dramatic increases in food prices experienced over the last four years, and their effects of hunger and food insecurity, as well as human-induced climate change and its implications for agriculture, food production and food security, are key topics within the field of agronomy and agricultural research. Contested Agronomy addresses these issues by exploring key developments since the mid-1970s, focusing in particular on the emergence of the neoliberal project and the rise of the participation and environmental agendas, taking into consideration how these have had profound impacts on the practice of agronomic research in the developing world especially over the last four decades. This book explores, through a series of case studies, the basis for a much needed ‘political agronomy’ analysis that highlights the impacts of problem framing and narratives, historical disjunctures, epistemic communities and the increasing pressure to demonstrate ‘success’ on both agricultural research and the farmers, processors and consumers it is meant to serve. Whilst being a fascinating and thought-provoking read for professionals in the Agriculture and Environmental sciences, it will also appeal to students and researchers in agricultural policy, development studies, geography, public administration, rural sociology, and science and technology studies.

Best Books