The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Company, 1972 - Science - 268 pages
Thirty years ago, Alfred Crosby published a small work that illuminated a simple point, that the most important changes brought on by the voyages of Columbus were not social or political, but biological in nature. The book told the story of how 1492 sparked the movement of organisms, both large and small, in both directions across the Atlantic. This Columbian exchange, between the Old World and the New, changed the history of our planet drastically and forever. The book The Columbian Exchange changed the field of history drastically and forever as well. It has become one of the foundational works in the burgeoning field of environmental history, and it remains one of the canonical texts for the study of world history. This 30th anniversary edition of The Columbian Exchange includes a new preface from the author, reflecting on the book and its creation, and a new foreword by J. R. McNeill that demonstrates how Crosby established a brand new perspective for understanding ecological and social events. As the foreword indicates, The Columbian Exchange remains a vital book, a small work that contains within the inspiration for future examinations into what happens when two peoples, separated by time and space, finally meet.

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Contents

The Contrasts
3
Conquistador y Pestilencia
35
Old World Plants and Animals in the New World
64
Copyright

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About the author (1972)

Alfred Worcester Crosby Jr. was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 15, 1931. He received a bachelor's degree in history from Harvard University in 1952. He served as a sergeant in the Army in the Panama Canal Zone. After his service, he received a doctorate in history from Boston University. He taught at Washington State University for 11 years and at the University of Texas in Austin for 22 years. He retired in 1999 as professor emeritus of geography, history, and American studies. He was considered the father of environmental history. He incorporated studies of biology, ecology, geography, and other sciences in his efforts to chronicle and understand human events. He wrote numerous books including The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492; Ecological Imperialism: The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900; Germs, Seeds and Animals: Studies in Ecological History; The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600; and Children of the Sun: A History of Humanity's Unappeasable Appetite for Energy. He died from complications of Parkinson's disease on March 14, 2018 at the age of 87.

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