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

Toby Musgrave, Author, Toby Musgave, Author, Will Musgave, Author
Toby Musgrave, Author, Toby Musgave, Author, Will Musgave, Author Cassell $29.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-304-35443-6
Reviewed on: 05/01/2001
Release date: 05/01/2001
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-1-84403-020-0
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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.)
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