Seeds of Change: A Quincentennial Commemoration

Herman J. Viola, Editor, Carolyn J. Margolis, Editor First Glance Books $45 (278p) ISBN 978-1-56098-035-3
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. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Paperback - 277 pages - 978-1-56098-036-0
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