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From the Publisher
"Modernity – the belief that what is newest is best – blinds us from recognizing the ecological knowledge and wisdom that suffuse traditional practices like swidden agriculture which encompass thousands of years of painstakingly accumulated knowledge and insights. With greater humility, we have much to learn." – David Suzuki.
"This book represents a multifaceted analysis of the transformation of shifting cultivation. The diverse views of a large team of experts are superbly knit together by the experienced editor to present an authoritative vision of what the future holds for not only shifting cultivation in the Asia-Pacific region, but subsistence farming the world over. The comprehensive book is very timely now when traditional farming systems are drastically impacted by environmental upheavals and economic realities – which could be an opportunity for reinvention rather than a threat of disruption." – P. K. Ramachandran Nair, Distinguished Professor, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA.
"Those writing about shifting cultivation at the beginning of the modern era must have imagined it as a way of life unlikely to survive a few more decades. What has surprised many is less that it still exists, but that it is so resilient. This attractive and comprehensive book captures the diversity of adaptations, and celebrates the lives of the people involved. Malcolm Cairns is to be congratulated on seeing an awesome publishing project to a magnificent conclusion." – Roy Ellen, Centre for Biocultural Diversity, University of Kent, UK.
"The appearance of these collectively definitive volumes on swidden cultivation represents an intellectual event of great importance. Finally, a comprehensive account of the form of agriculture most widely practiced in world history; most responsible for changing landscapes, and most grievously misunderstood by high-modernist agriculture. So much to learn here, so much to digest, so much to ponder as we imagine a less catastrophic agricultural future." – James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and Anthropology and Co-Director Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University, USA.