Harry Potter House Eds book price comparison make the most of Lovereading
Search our site
Fools and Mortals by Bernard Cornwell Read the opening extract of the brand new Bernard Cornwell book before its publication on 19/10/2017

Propitious Esculent The Potato in World History by John Reader
  

Propitious Esculent The Potato in World History

RRP £18.99

Notify me
when in stock

As soon as this book is back in stock we will send you an email.

Synopsis

Propitious Esculent The Potato in World History by John Reader

From the first nomads travelling down the coast of the Americas nearly 15,000 years ago to the contemporary uses of potato starch in industrialising China, from the gold potatoes at Tiwanaku in Bolivia, the muddy ones in Ireland and those grown in China for MacDonalds chips, via the early days of the Royal Society, Mrs Beeton, Charles Darwin, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin and Chairman Mao to the mapping of the potato genome, the story of the potato is both satisfying and fascinating. Before domestication on the Andean antiplano, the high alkaloid content of potatoes made them poisonous to humans. But since then, these perfectly formed bundles of nutrition - naturally fat free, consisting mainly of energy-giving carbohydrate, but also containing protein, vitamin C and potassium - have been grown safely and cheaply underground in almost any weather and soil conditions, helping to fuel industrial revolution and population explosions.But their efficiency and versatility have also led to over-reliance and tragedy in the face of disease - most devastatingly during the Irish Great Hunger. John Reader follows the thread of the potato's story through the tapestry of human history, from its origins and evolution to its slightly mysterious arrival in Europe, where it became a crucial part of our gastronomic and social fabric. The UN's International Year of the Potato falls in 2008, and as global population swells and famine remains a constant risk, and environmental sustainability becomes ever more crucial, Reader asks what role the spud still has to play. Propitious Esculent is a highly readable exploration of the biology, history and social influence of our most humble, adaptable foodstuff.

About the Author

John Reader is an author and photojournalist. He holds an Honorary Research Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at UCL and is a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal Geographic Society.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

7th February 2008

Author

John Reader

More books by John Reader
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

William Heinemann Ltd an imprint of Cornerstone

Format

Hardback
336 pages

Categories

Social & cultural history
Agronomy & crop production
Cookery / food & drink etc

ISBN

9780434013180

Lovereading is an amazing place to be, the website is wonderful and to me if I'm sad I'll go here and it cheers me up!

Sophia Upton

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman

Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!

Catherine Jenkins

Their sending me my first book to review 18 months ago re-awakened my fondness for reading, since then I have purchased some real gems.

Barry Griffiths

For me, to read is to learn, to reflect, to escape, to think, to contemplate and my time for space and calm.

Sally Ellsmore

The books for review are always great reads, brilliantly written, and introduces me to a huge variety of, established and new, authors.

Lesley Hart

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!

Lindsay

Lovereading has given me the opportunity to delve into new and exciting worlds of authors who I would never have tried before.

Glynis Elliott

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools