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

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

by Toby Musgrave, Will Musgrave
     
 
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

Overview

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. 7 1/2 X 9 3/4. 40 Color Illustrations,30 B&W Illustrations

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's 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. ( Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781844030200
Publisher:
Orion Publishing Group, Limited
Publication date:
06/30/2003
Pages:
192
Product dimensions:
7.40(w) x 9.82(h) x 0.57(d)

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