An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family--all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.
An Environmental History of Civil War and Emancipation in the Cotton South
Author: Erin Stewart Mauldin
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Business & Economics
"How did the Civil War and the emancipation of the South's four million slaves reconfigure the natural landscape and the farming economy dependent upon it? An important reconsideration of the Civil War's role in southern history, Unredeemed Land uncovers the environmental constraints that shaped the rural South's transition to capitalism during the late nineteenth century. Dixie's 'King Cotton' required extensive land use techniques, fresh soil, and slave-based agriculture in order to remain profitable. But wartime destruction and the rise of the contract labor system closed off those possibilities and necessitated increasingly intensive cultivation in ways that worked against the environment. The resulting disconnect between farmers' use of the land and what the natural environment could support went hand-in-hand with the economic dislocation of freedpeople, poor farmers, and sharecroppers. Drawing on extensive archival and governmental sources as well as scholarship in the natural sciences, Erin Mauldin demonstrates how the Civil War and emancipation accelerated ongoing ecological change in ways that hastened the postbellum collapse of the region's subsistence economy, encouraged the expansion of cotton production, and ultimately kept cotton farmers trapped in a cycle of debt and tenancy. The first environmental history to bridge the antebellum, Civil War, and Reconstruction periods, this work will appeal to anyone who is interested in the landscape of the South or the legacies of the Civil War"--
Our understanding of world history is changing, as new discoveries are made on all the continents and old prejudices are being challenged. In this truly global journey Andrew Marr revisits some of the traditional epic stories, from classical Greece and Rome to the rise of Napoleon, but surrounds them with less familiar material, from Peru to the Ukraine, China to the Caribbean. He looks at cultures that have failed and vanished, as well as the origins of today’s superpowers, and finds surprising echoes and parallels across vast distances and epochs. A History of the World is a book about the great change-makers of history and their times, people such as Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, Galileo and Mao, but it is also a book about us. For ‘the better we understand how rulers lose touch with reality, or why revolutions produce dictators more often than they produce happiness, or why some parts of the world are richer than others, the easier it is to understand our own times.’ Fresh, exciting and vividly readable, this is popular history at its very best.
In which the Words are Deduced from Their Originals; and Illustrated in Their Different Significations, by Examples from the Best Writers: Together with a History of the Language, and an English Grammar
Presenting an integrated explanation of speculative trading and risk management from the practitioner's point of view, "Risk Management, Speculation, and Derivative Securities" is a standard text on financial risk management that departs from the perspective of an agent whose main concerns are pricing and hedging derivatives.