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.
Table of Contents
Selected Contents: Acknowledgements Glossary of Terms Introduction 1: The Origins of Agriculture and the Dual Subordination 2: Agriculture in antiquity: the first great conflicts over land and freedom 3: Agriculture in the post-classical period 4: Early modern agriculture and European agricultural dominance (1500-1800) 5: Agriculture in the 19th Century: Emancipation, Modernization, and Colonialism 6: Agriculture and Crisis 1900-1940 7: Boom and Crisis: Agriculture from World War II to the 21st Century Conclusion
Mark B. Tauger is an associate professor of history at West Virginia University, USA. He has published extensively on famines and agriculture in the USSR and India. His work has won the Eric Wolf Prize of the Journal of Peasant Studies and the Wayne D. Rasmussen Award of the Agricultural History Society.
'This is a valuable and accessible study that teachers and students will find useful.' – Richard Brown, Historical Association
'Recommended. All undergraduate students and general readers.' L. S. Cline, Missouri State University. Reviewed in 2011aug CHOICE