The History and Social Influence of the Potato

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 21, 1985 - Business & Economics - 685 pages
First published in 1949, this remarkable book is the culmination of a life-long study of every aspect of the potato. Dr Salaman is concerned first with the history of the potato as a member of the botanical genus Solanum, its adaptation by man as a cultivated plant, and the record of its spread throughout the world; secondly he considers the influence the potato has exerted upon the social structure and economy of different peoples at different times. The archaeological and anthropological evidence for the early significance of the potato among the peoples of Latin America is discussed in detail with numerous illustrations, but the central portion of the book is concerned with the European, and particularly the Irish evidence. Naturally the Great Hunger is the most dramatic single episode in the entire work, and Dr Salaman does full justice to his tragic theme, concluding with the observation that in Ireland 'the potato ended in wrecking both exploited and exploiter'. Elegantly written, with numerous vivid anecdotes, Salaman's History has long enjoyed the status of a classic. This revised impression, with a new introduction and emendations by Professor J. G. Hawkes, enables another generation of readers to sample what Eric Hobsbawm has referred to as 'that magnificent monument of scholarship and humanity'.
 

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Contents

Immigrant Man and the Andean Potato
1
The Archaeological Record
14
The Potato in PreSpanish Peru
34
The Inca Period
42
The Potatoes of America and their Relation to the Early European Varieties
51
Early Descriptions of the Potato in Europe
73
Vertues Vices and Values
101
Names and Aliases
126
The Potato of Shakespeare and the Jacobeans
424
The Seventeenth Century The First Hundred Years of the Potatos Progress in Great Britain
434
The Eighteenth Century
456
The Nineteenth Century and After
518
The Relation between Potato and Bread Consumption
537
The Potato in Tristan da Cunha
543
The Potato in St Helena
547
The Potato in Jersey
557

The Introduction to Europe The Raleigh and other Legends
142
Potato Varieties Past Present and Future
159
The Potato in Ireland in the Sixteenth Century
188
The Potato in Ireland in the Seventeenth Century
222
The Potato in Ireland in the Eighteenth Century
245
The Period of Irish SelfGovernment
263
Ireland in the Nineteenth Century
273
The Potato Famine Its Causes and Consequences
289
The Potato in PostFamine Ireland
317
The Potatos Part in the Tragedy of Ireland
333
The Potato in Scotland
344
The Potato in the Highlands of Scotland
346
The Potato in the Lowlands of Scotland
386
The Potato in Wales
409
The Industrial Uses of the Potato
563
The Potato in WarTime
572
The Implements of Production
583
The Potato in the Realm of Art
592
Epilogue
600
Failures of the Potato Crop in Ireland
603
Number of persons in England and Wales in 1851
609
Considerations in Report to Total Potato Acreage
610
Wheat Availability
614
The Potato in the Early Herbaria
618
Bibliography
620
Index
646
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