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Author Thompson, Peter, 1931-2008

Title Seeds, sex and civilization : how the hidden life of plants has shaped our world / Peter Thompson, [Stephen Harris]

Publ Info New York : Thames & Hudson, [2010]
 RWU Main Library  SB117 .T46 2010    AVAILABLE
Descript 272 pages : chiefly color illustrations ; 24 cm
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Contents The roots of agriculture -- The genie released -- The making of seeds -- Strategies for survival -- Travellers in time and space -- Seeds in the garden -- The pursuit of plenty -- Banking on seeds -- Future prospects
Note Includes bibliographical references (p. 261) and index
"This is a scientific detective story with heroes and heroines following clues and, eventually, finding answers. The history of man's relation to seeds is the history of civilization. To many of us seeds mean little more than tiny objects in paper packets, but we should also think of rice, wheat, coffee, nuts, peas, beans, chocolate and cotton. The author, who was head of the physiology department at Kew Gardens and laid the foundations for the Millennium Seed Bank, unfolds the fascinating story of how, after centuries long investigations, we have finally discovered what seeds do and how they work. The book also brings to life the people who have accumulated our knowledge, eccentrics, explorers, amateurs and highly dedicated professionals. Some are well known, such as Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel; others, such as the Russian geneticist Nikolai Vavilov, less so. There are violent confrontations, miraculous successes and heart-rending failures. But the seeds also have a story and appear to have personalities, ambitions and "stratagems" of their own. The book concludes with a chapter by Stephen Harris on current debates about genetically modified crops, seed conservation and plant ownership. Seeds have been hugely important throughout history. Today, how we treat them is of global significance."--Publisher
LC subject Seeds
Agriculture -- History
Add Author Harris, Stephen, 1966-
Alt Title Seeds, sex & civilization
ISBN 9780500251706 (hbk.)