An Empire of Plants: People and Plants that Changed the World

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9780304354436: An Empire of Plants: People and Plants that Changed the World
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For centuries, from foodstuffs and fabrics to medicine and industrial materials, plants have dominated trade between countries. Possession of rare spices, sweets, and narcotics could mean enviable wealth and power. In quest of these desired products and the income they brought, explorers ventured forth, risking death as they traveled unknown seas. Here is the story of seven plants--tobacco, sugar, cotton, tea, poppies, quinine, and rubber--and how Europe's hunger for them led to the Age of Empire...and turned world history upside down. Not only did these crops ensure the commercial success of America and Europe, but they became the catalyst for piracy, smuggling, addiction, and the slave trade--the darker side of the golden profits. With fascinating contemporary illustrations.

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About the Author:

Dr Toby Musgrave is a garden designer and historian, with keen interest in the social aspects of economic botany. Toby is co-author of the highly successful book The Plant Hunters, published by Cassell Illustrated, and the author of Courtyard Gardens. Will Musgrave is an archaeologies and historian with a special interest in plant history and garden archaeology. Co-author of The Plant Hunters, he is also fascinated by Minoan civilisation and is currently working on a novel set in ancient Crete.

From Publishers Weekly:

In the sweeping tradition of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel, plant historians Toby and Will Musgrave (The Plant Hunters) present An Empire of Plants: People and Plants That Changed the World. They track human use of seven plants tea, tobacco, sugar, opium, cotton, quinine and rubber across centuries and continents. With brief "profiles" of each plant separated from the main text, sidebars about kinds of tea malaria or historical "Opinions on the Opium Trade," and dozens of illustrations and photos, it's a fun, glossy textbook for adults, rigorous and scholarly while catering to the amateur historian. The Musgraves' depictions of the plants' effects and permutations in industry, slavery, drug use and trade the world over and down the ages are stark and fascinating.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781844030200: An Empire of Plants: People and Plants That Changed the World

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1844030202 ISBN 13:  9781844030200
Publisher: Cassell, 2003
Softcover

9781841882093: Empire of Plants

Weiden..., 2002
Softcover

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