Volume 93, Number 1 (Winter 2019)
The “Age of Agricultural Ignorance”: Trends and Concerns for Agriculture Knee-Deep into the Twenty-First Century
Metamorphosis: The Rice Boom, Environmental Transformation, and the Problem of Truncation in Colonial Lower Burma, 1850-1940 PETER A. COCLANIS
During the period between roughly 1850 and 1940, Lower Burma came under British colonial rule and, as a result, experienced a profound transformation or “metamorphosis.” This metamorphosis had environmental, economic, and political dimensions, which Southeast Asian historians have well documented. This essay views the case in Lower Burma from the perspective of global history, at once syn-thesizing the specialist literature and adding to the mix other dimensions, particularly relating to human biology.
“Yeotopia” Found…But? The Yeoman Ideal that Underpinned New Zealand Agricultural Practice into the Early Twenty-First Century, with American and Australian Comparisons TOM BROOKING
This is a big-picture article based on a lifetime’s cumulative research. It builds on versions of the paper delivered at the annual meeting of the Agricultural History Society in Boston in 2005 and in Springfield, Illinois, in 2010, and discusses an ideal that shaped farming and rural communities in several New World countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. But this ideal lasted longer and achieved greater hegemony in New Zealand. This article tries to explain the ideal ’s greater importance and longevity as resulting from the close fit between New Zealand ’s traditional stock-raising methods and the family-farming model. It also attempts to account for the ideal ’s more recent demise and concludes that New Zealand is probably moving into a “post-Yeotopian era” as this small and isolated country faces big changes in international food production techniques.
Roundup from the Ground Up: A Supply-Side Story of the World’s Most Widely Used Herbicide BARTOW J. ELMORE
Digging deep into the history of phosphate mining, this article engages contempo-rary debates about the environmental sustainability of using Roundup to produce our food by focusing on the front end rather than the back end of the product’s life cycle. Though many people may not know it, the critical raw material Monsanto uses to make Roundup an effective herbicide is elemental phosphorus, which comes from a processing plant in southeast Idaho that remains an operating Superfund site to this day. In the years ahead, scholars may well demonstrate a clear and irrefutable link between Monsanto’s herbicide and carcinogenesis. But if we look to history, we see that there are some troubling realities about producing Roundup in the first place. Documenting the supply-side ecological costs of Roundup manufacture, this article questions the efficacy of a decentralized EPA remediation strategy, honed in the 1990s, that allowed an operating facility to continue releasing pollutants into the environment more than a quarter century after it had achieved national priority listing under the Superfund program.
ROUNDTABLE: Agricultural History and the History of Science
Listening to Rural Americans in “Trump Country,” a review of Robert Wuthnow, The Left Behind: Decline and Rage in Rural America, by J. Blake Perkins
Ross, Ecology and Power in the Age of Empire: Europe and the Transformation of the Tropical World, by Francisco Bonilla
Warren, Meat Makes People Powerful: A Global History of the Modern Era, by Erin McKenna
Auderset and Moser, Die Agrarfrage in der Industriegesellschaft: Wissenskulturen, Machtverhaeltnisse und natuerliche Ressourcen in der agrarisch-industriellen Wissensgesellschaft (1850-1950), by Jonathan Harwood
Schlesinger, A World Trimmed with Fur, Wild Things, Pristine Places, and the Natural Fringes of Qing Rule, by Macabe Keliher
Latin America and the Caribbean
Casey, Empire’s Guestworkers: Haitian Migrants in Cuba during the Age of US Occupation, by Amelia Hintzen
Schiebinger, Secret Cures of Slaves: People, Plants, and Medicine in the Eighteenth-Century Atlantic World, by Anatole Tchikine
Edelson, The New Map of Empire: How Britain Imagined America before Independence, by Solomon K. Smith
McIlvenna, The Short life of Free Georgia: Class and Slavery in the Colonial South, by David B. Parker
Smalley, Wild by Nature: North American Animals Confront Colonization, by James Taylor Carson
Lim, Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands, by Aaron Bell
Stith,Extreme Civil War: Guerilla Warfare, Environment, and Race on the Trans-Mississippi Frontier, by Adam H. Petty
Oliff,Getting Out of the Mud: The Alabama Good Roads Movement and Highway Administration, 1898-1928,by David Burel