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Seeds, Sex, and Civilization  :  How the Hidden Life of Plants Has Shaped Our World - Peter Thompson

Seeds, Sex, and Civilization

How the Hidden Life of Plants Has Shaped Our World

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Seeds have influenced evolution, and for millennia they have influenced and sometimes determined where and how we live. This is an epic tale, given added enchantment by the fact that to most of us seeds mean little more than tiny objects in paper packets: who thinks first of rice, wheat, coffee, nuts, peas, beans, or olives? Here, Peter Thompson unfolds the absorbing history of how, after centuries of investigation, we finally discovered what seeds do and how they work. This is a scientific detective story with heroes and heroines following clues and finding answers. Thompson brings to life the eccentrics, explorers, amateurs, and highly dedicated professionals who have accumulated our knowledge. Some are well known, such as Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel; others, like the Russian geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, are less so. The seeds also have a story and appear to have personalities, ambitions, and "stratagems" of their own. The book concludes with a chapter by Stephen Harris on current debates about genetically modified crops, seed conservation, and plant ownership in the contemporary world.

Introductionp. 7
The Roots of Agriculturep. 11
The Genie Releasedp. 33
The Making of Seedsp. 69
Strategies for Survivalp. 95
Travellers in Time and Spacep. 122
Seeds in the Gardenp. 143
The Pursuit of Plentyp. 167
Banking on Seedsp. 201
Conclusion Future Prospectsp. 229
Further Readingp. 261
Picture Creditsp. 262
Acknowledgmentsp. 262
Indexp. 263
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780500251706
ISBN-10: 0500251703
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 30th September 2010
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6  x 3.2
Weight (kg): 0.89
Edition Number: 1