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A History of World Agriculture: From the Neolithic Age to the Current Crisis

By: Marcel Mazoyer and Laurence Roudart

528 pages, illus


Paperback | Dec 2006 | #162253 | ISBN: 1844073998
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NHBS Price: £30.99 $40/€35 approx

About this book

Provides a grand narrative of ten thousand years of human ingenuity and a penetrating analysis of the rise of agriculture and civilization. Coverage is panoramic and breathtaking. From the Near East and Egypt to China, the Americas and medieval and modern Europe, this book traces the rise of agriculture and examines the tapestry of the social and economic structures it nurtured. Most critically, the authors, looking through the lens of the current global poverty crisis, turn the spotlight of history on the present and future to show how this extraordinary wealth of knowledge, tradition and natural variety - developed over 500 generations - is now endangered by today's mechanized and globalized corporate agriculture.

* 'A magnificent book, by far the best ever produced on the subject' Samir Amin, historian and author of Imperialism and Unequal Development * 'Replete with rich reflections on agriculture... It is a testament to the enormous erudition of its authors and a defence of peasant economies victimized by neo-liberal policies' Le Matin (France)


Introduction; * Evolution, Agriculture, History; * Neolithic Agricultural Revolution; * Systems of Slash and Burn Agriculture in Forest Environments; * Evolution of Hydraulic Agrarian Systems in the Nile Valley; * Inca Agrarian System; * Agricultural Revolution in Antiquity; * Agricultural Revolution in the Middle Ages in Northwest Europe; * First Agricultural Revolution of Modern Times; * Mechanization of Animal-Drawn Cultivation and the Transport Revolution: The First World Crisis of Agricultural Overproduction; * Second Agricultural Revolution of Modern Times; * Agrarian Crisis and General Crisis; * Bibliography, Index.

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Marcel Mazoyer is professor of comparative agriculture and agricultural development at the National Institute of Agronomy (INA) in Paris, where he succeeded Rene Dumont. He is author of several books on the history of agriculture and has worked on agricultural policy in more than 20 countries. Laurence Roudart is an agricultural engineer and researcher at the INA and has consulted widely in Africa and Asia.

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