Worth Reading

How I’m only just discovering this 12 year-old-book, I do not know, but it is fascinating.

Manning, Richard, Against the Grain — How Agriculture has Hijacked Civilization, North Point Press, New York, 2004.

Manning argues, very convincingly, that all the major forces that have shaped our world—disease, imperialism, colonialism, slavery, trade, wealth—are all directly related to agriculture. He details the beginnings of agriculture in the middle east and it’s spread through conquest of peoples and lands. He describes how this expansion led to overpopulation, famine, and disease in all major population centers.

Spoiler alter: Domestication of wheat was humankind’s greatest mistake.

This book appears well research and is very readable, though poorly titled. I think a better title would be How Grain Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s