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Potato A History of the Propitious Esculent (Paperback)

Author:  John Reader
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Learn more about Potato:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0300171455
ISBN-13: 9780300171457
Sku: 217622663
Publish Date: 3/29/2011
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9H x 6L x 0.75T
Pages:  315
See more in History
Previously published as: Propitious esculent.
In this delightful, learned, and somewhat freewheeling tour through history, John Reader focuses on the lowly plant, the potato--arguing that it has been central, on the periphery, or sometimes just there through a range of epochs up to modern times. He explores its role in civilizations as diverse as China, the Incas, and the French court, and finds many and diverse references to the tuber in records, histories, and popular lore. Of course, he discusses the complex causes and effects in mid-19th Century Ireland of the famous Potato Famine, and he ultimately convinces that from its origins in Peru to its modern day position as one of the top staples worldwide, the potato has been a crop of globalization and history.


"More often than not [the potato] has inspired careful--but let's face it, dull--scholarship. Yet Reader's enthusiasm has made the old analyses more palatable....He explores [the Irish Potato Famine] sensitively, applying political, agronomic and social analysis to vivify the tragic years of 1845 to 1849." - Gregory Dicum 05/31/2009

"Using the potato as guide, mantra, fetish and structuring device, John Reader serves up a potato-centric history of the world. And a it is." - Peter Behrens 06/07/2009

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0315
Product attributePublisher:   Yale University Press
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