Friday, September 7, 2012
Two interesting books on plants and man
A few months ago I read two books that had come up in my work research, but that were not directly related to my job focus. One was Baker's "Plants and Civilization", a somewhat stuffy but broad and often funny overview of how different plants have shaped and continue to be important in human culture. The other was Crosby's "Ecological Imperialism", an expansion of some of the themes explored in his book "The Columbian Exchange", which was a favorite of my dad's and mine in my late teenage years. Here is an in-depth explanation of Crosby's thesis, namely that certain factors of Eurasian species ecology favored the spread of Europeans into what he calls the "Neo-Europes", namely New Zealand, Australia, North America, Argentina, and South Africa.