Seeds of Wealth: Four Plants that Made Men Rich
Following the widely celebrated Seeds of Change (1985) comes Seeds of Wealth, a collection of four elegant essays focusing on the economic and cultural consequences of the exploitation of timber, tobacco, rubber, and the wine grape. These cash crops have bound together trade relations for the past three centuries and have had a profound if little noted effect on our world.
As early as Shakespeare's time, timber quantities in England had become deficient, promoting the use of coal and leading to the industrial revolution. Conversely, the abundance of timber and excellent growing conditions for tobacco in the United States led to great wealth and power for the young nation. The cultivation of the rubber tree and its importance in modern society helped to create the nations of Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. And good wine, Hobhouse observes, makes people wealthy as well as mellow and wise.
These four plants enormously increased the wealth of those who dealt with them, created new industries, shaped destinies, and changed the course of history.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
The Essential Carpet
The Grapes Bid for Immortality
Wheels Shod for Speed
More Than a Smoke
Other editions - View all
acetobacter acid acres Akron alcohol American Amerindians became branding Britain British British-American Cabernet Sauvignon Canal cars cent century charcoal cigarettes clippers coal Colonies consumer cost countries crop developed disease Dutch early East economic electricity England English essential estates Europe European export favoured fermentation forest France French fuel Germany grapes growing grown harvest Hevea Hevea trees huge hunter-gatherers Imperial Imperial Tobacco important increased Indian industry iron Italy labour land largely later latex leaf less London maize Malaya manufacture masts miles million modern native natural rubber needed North phylloxera pipes plant plantation population probably production profitable radial tyres railroads river Roman Royal Royal Navy seeds ships Singapore smoke soil sold steam sugar supply synthetic tartaric acid taste terroir thirteen Colonies timber tobacco tons trade tyres United Kingdom vines vineyards Virginia wealth West whales wine wine-making wood wooden World World wines yeasts