SEEDS OF CHANGE: Five Hundred Years Since Columbus

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9781560980353: SEEDS OF CHANGE: Five Hundred Years Since Columbus

Describes the exchanges of animal, agricultural, and cultural products between the Old World and the New World during the five hundred years since Columbus's expeditions, assessing the damage and benefits to populations on both sides of the Atlantic.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Published in conjunction with a quincentennial exhibition at the Smithsonian, this informative volume chronicles the revolutionary effects of Columbus's discovery of America on the cultures of the New and Old worlds. Included are essays on how American food crops--maize, potatoes and tomatoes--changed the agricultural patterns and dietary habits of Europe; how the importation of cattle, horses and sheep from Spain transformed the ecology of the American hemisphere; "the human liking for the taste of sweetness" and its implications for sugar production in the New World; and the decimation of pre-Columbian societies by diseases introduced by their European conquerors. Scholarly yet accessible, these essays aim for a fair perspective on the "real meaning of 1492," given the precarious state of the world today with its depleted resources and tragically despoiled environment. The final essay calls for vigorous "sociopolitical action on behalf of the environment. Only then will we have planted real seeds for change." The editors also co-edited Magnificent Voyagers: The U.S. Exploring Expedition, 1838 - 1842. Illustrated.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

Columbus's discovery of America 500 years ago left a legacy of biological and cultural transformation in the Old and New Worlds. Exchanges of plants and animals between the two societies changed farming practices and eating habits of the indigenous populations. Large-scale migrations, both forced and voluntary, provided the Americas with a great diversity of peoples and cultures. These events also brought disease, warfare, forced labor, enslavement, and environmental degradation. This companion volume to a forthcoming Smithsonian exhibition offers a lavishly illustrated, well-documented history that vividly describes the growth, progress, and decline of cultures in North and South America and the effects of agricultural changes on these societies. Recommended for American history and agricultural history collections. Quality Paperback Book Club main selection; History Book Club selection; previewed in "Rediscovering Columbus," LJ 8/91.
- Irwin Weintraub, Rutgers Univ. Libs., Piscataway, N.J.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Viola, Herman J.; Margolis, Carolyn
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