In the tradition of Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, this gives the very early history of how human ingenuity overcame the risk of famine through productive agriculture. Starting with a layman's guide to the chemistry of nitrogen fixation, the book goes on to show how humans emerged from nomadic lifestyles and began developing towns and settlements. When they for the first time began planting the same fields year after year, they noticed quickly the need to ensure soil fertility. But how? The method they came up with is still in use to this day.
"Leigh conveys a great deal of information in 220 pages of text, and does so in an easy-to-read, clear and accurate style. This is an altogether fine book."--Nature "This is a detailed, scholarly, well-documented and illustrated work, intended for the layman but suitable for those interested in the history of agriculture, chemistry, and modern industry." --Choice "I always like unusual tid-bits, asides and images, and Leigh's book has its share of them...Leigh conveys a great deal of information in the 220 pages of text, and does so in an easy to read, clear and accurate style. This is altogether a fine book." Nature "Leigh conveys a great deal of information in 220 pages of text, and does so in an easy-to-read, clear and accurate style. This is an altogether fine book." Nature "This is a story of guns and grain and for that matter productivity and pollution, because the nitrogen not taken up by crops is now fouling the world's waterways. This story with epic sweep, told perhaps not always with epic grace but with the sureness of a lifetime's scholarship." he Guardian
Number Of Pages: 254
Published: 1st August 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.1 x 16.1 x 2.1
Weight (kg): 0.58