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Civilization from its origins has depended on the food, fibre, and other commodities produced by farmers. In this unique exploration of the world history of agriculture, Mark B. Tauger looks at farmers, farming, and their relationships to non-farmers from the classical societies of the Mediterranean and China through to the twenty-first century.? Viewing farmers as the most important human interface between civilization and the natural world, Agriculture in World History examines the ways that urban societies have both exploited and supported farmers, and together have endured the environmental changes and crises that threatened food production.? Accessibly written and following a chronological structure, Agriculture in World History illuminates these topics through studies of farmers in numerous countries all over the world from Antiquity to the contemporary period. Key themes addressed include the impact of global warming, the role of political and social transformations, and the development of agricultural technology. In particular, the book highlights the complexities of recent decades: increased food production, declining numbers of farmers, and environmental, economic, and political challenges to increasing food production against the demands of a growing population. This wide-ranging survey will be an indispensable text for students of world history, and for anyone interested in the historical development of the present agricultural and food crises.?
Thirty-two essays by a stellar collection of distinguished scholars in the field of world history, providing a comprehensive guide to current scholarship and current thinking in one of the most dynamic fields of historical scholarship
Only once we understand the long history of human efforts to draw sustenance from the land can we grasp the nature of the crisis that faces humankind today, as hundreds of millions of people are faced with famine or flight from the land. From Neolithic times through the earliest civilizations of the ancient Near East, in savannahs, river valleys and the terraces created by the Incas in the Andean mountains, an increasing range of agricultural techniques have developed in response to very different conditions. These developments are recounted in this book, with detailed attention to the ways in which plants, animals, soil, climate, and society have interacted. Mazoyer and Roudart’s A History of World Agriculture is a path-breaking and panoramic work, beginning with the emergence of agriculture after thousands of years in which human societies had depended on hunting and gathering, showing how agricultural techniques developed in the different regions of the world, and how this extraordinary wealth of knowledge, tradition and natural variety is endangered today by global capitialism, as it forces the unequal agrarian heritages of the world to conform to the norms of profit. During the twentieth century, mechanization, motorization and specialization have brought to a halt the pattern of cultural and environmental responses that characterized the global history of agriculture until then. Today a small number of corporations have the capacity to impose the farming methods on the planet that they find most profitable. Mazoyer and Roudart propose an alternative global strategy that can safegaurd the economies of the poor countries, reinvigorate the global economy, and create a livable future for mankind.
Described as "the New York Review of Books for history," Historically Speaking has emerged as one of the most distinctive historical publications in recent years, actively seeking out contributions from a pantheon of leading voices in historical discourse from both inside and outside academia. Recent Themes in World History and the History of the West represents some of the best writing on Western civilization and world history in the past five years. This collection of essays and interviews from Historically Speaking gives leading historians' approaches to the continually evolving field of world history, with a specific emphasis on the relationship of Western civilization to the history of the world. The book also discusses the effect of empire on global history and the many ways empire continues to manifest in the contemporary world. The contributors discuss world history as an intricate story of the connections within the global community, rather than a tidy, static narrative that attempts to summarize everything in our global past. In this volume the study of world history is presented as a constantly comparative endeavor, concerned with the major themes that link and divide humanity.
Introduces readers to the cross-cultural study of ancient and classical civilizations. The book is divided into two sections, the first examining the ongoing interaction between ancient agrarian and nomadic societies and the second focusing on regional patterns in the dissemination of ideas.
The Human Journey offers a truly concise yet satisfyingly full history of the world from ancient times to the present. The book’s scope, as the title implies, is the whole story of humanity, in planetary context. Its themes include not only the great questions of the humanities—nature versus nurture, the history and meaning of human variation, the sources of wealth and causes of revolution—but also the major transformations in human history: agriculture, cities, iron, writing, universal religions, global trade, industrialization, popular government, justice, and equality. In each conceptually rich chapter, leading historian Kevin Reilly concentrates on a single important period and theme, sustaining a focused narrative and analytical perspective. Chapter 2, for example, discusses the significance of bronze-age urbanization and the advent of the Iron Age. Chapter 3 examines the meaning and significance of the age of “classical” civilizations. Chapter 4 explains the spread of universal religions and new technologies in the postclassical age of Eurasian integration. But these examples also reveal a range of approaches to world history. The first chapter is an example of current “Big History,” the second of history as technological transformations, the third of comparative history, the fourth the history of connections that dominates, and thus narrows, so many texts. Free of either a confined, limiting focus or a mandatory laundry list of topics, this book begins with our most important questions and searches all of our past for answers. Well-grounded in the latest scholarship, this is not a fill-in-the-blanks text, but world history in a grand humanistic tradition.
'Expansive and accessible, Peter Stearns' Sexuality in World History offers a much needed introduction to histories of sexuality from a global perspective.' – Mary Spongberg- Head of Department of Modern History, Macquarie University, USA This book examines sexuality in the past, and explores how it helps explain sexuality in the present. The subject of sexuality is often a controversial one, and exploring it through a world history perspective emphasises the extent to which societies, including our own, are still reacting to historical change through contemporary sexual behaviours, values, and debates. The study uses a clear chronological structure to focus on major patterns and changes in sexuality – both sexual culture and sexual behaviours – in the main periods of world history, with comparison and discussion across cultures and societies. Topics covered include: issues involved in studying the history of sexuality the sexual implications of the transition from hunting and gathering economies to agricultural economies sexuality in Classical societies the post-Classical period and the spread of the world religions sex in an age of trade and colonies changes in sexual behaviours and sexual attitudes between 1750 and 1950 sex in contemporary world history. The book is a vital contribution to the study of world history, and is the perfect companion for all students of the history of sexuality.

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