Brazil and the Struggle for Rubber: A Study in Environmental History

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Overview

Brazil once enjoyed a near monopoly in rubber when that commodity was gathered in the wild. By 1913, however, cultivated rubber from Southeast Asia swept the Brazilian gathered product from the market. In this innovative study, Warren Dean demonstrates that environmental factors have played a key role in the many failed attempts to once again produce a significant rubber crop in Brazil. Dean traces the numerous attempts to plant rubber in Brazil, including the ill-fated Ford estates, and others established by the major multinational tire companies. He also analyzes the struggles of the Brazilian government to foster rubber development, in the hope of obtaining a domestic source of supply for national industries that are now dependent on imports from Southeast Asia.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Dean has written a lucid and solidly researched account of how a particular plant disease prevented the development of an important branch of agriculture in one country, thereby affecting its economic development, Brazil and the Struggle for Rubber is warmly recommended as a perceptive study of the relationship between humans and their environment." ISIS

"In his sophisticated integration of ecological concepts into a socioeconomic history of rubber cultivation, Dean sets a high standard." Martin T. Katzman, American Historical Review

"Warren Dean spins a good tale and draws some insightful conclusions about the limits of human ability to manipulate the environment." Report on the Americas

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Product Details

Table of Contents

Explanatory notes; Abbreviations; Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Prometheus in reverse, 1855–1876; 2. Awaiting developments, 1876–1906; 3. Production and folklore, 1876–1910; 4. The reason why, 1904–1923; 5. A jump in the dark, 1923–1940; 6. The battle for rubber, 1940–1945; 7. Administrative discontinuities, 1946–1961; 8. Complete perplexity, 1961–1972; 9. Economically guaranteed, 1973–1986; Conclusion; Appendix; Notes; Glossary; Index.
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