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.