In a review of a later edition, Frederick H. I understand this book was quite revolutionary when it came out, although now that is less the case. The importance this to his thesis cannot be understated, because by using primary sources to set a mood rather than to outright present a fact Crosby filters out some of the inherent biases that are present in all primary sources. It is difficult to over esteem contribution of this book, due to incredible level of relevance, credibility and informational content. Jul 22, Marla McMackin added it Shelves: Today it is impossible to find a field with all indigenous North American plants growing I was a young American historian teaching undergraduates.

In addition, there is the great job about variety of collected data. I enjoyed reading this book and learned a lot from it. We all benefit from these lovely food. But these were few in number. He uses historical, cultural and medical resources to prove that the world was irrevocably changed, in general to the detriment of the New World and benefit of the Old. March 18, Posted by: He challenges the notion of European origins, but presents the evidence that proponents of this theory utilise in their scholarship.

John Robert McNeill Foreword by. Books by Alfred W.

Alfred W. Crosby on the Columbian Exchange | History | Smithsonian

Horses, pigs, chickens, sheep, cows, ducks. One thing I found was that the author seems to be overly biased when it comes to the areas of religion, which I felt was rather unneeded when it came to the subject matter in this speci This book is very well written, and a great resource on the New World and Old World.

Kentucky blue grass, daises, dandelions 4. Maize was the most important grain of the American Indians inand it is one of the columbbian important grain sources in the world right now. I was also struck by the descriptions of formerly domesticated animals – pigs, cattle, and horses, – that quickly took off on their own and in some cases, dominated the landscape, at least for a short time; vast herds of horses, feral pigs, and free ranging cows.


The book travels from the Conquistadors and pestilence, to the transplanting of animals and crops to the New World. Thesix favorite in this book was “Tiny minds get half the story”, cryptically added to the bottom of the page. A great deal of the economic, social, political history of the world is involved in the eexchange of living organisms between the two worlds. It was very out of place.

Everyone above a certain age in many villages died. Smallpox was a standard infection in Europe and most of the Old World in And a little publisher in New England wrote me and asked me if I would let them have a try at it, which I did. Crosby foregrounds the Columbian exchange not as a series of political or economic actions, but as a series of biological exchanges–of disease, animals, plants, and human materials–that transformed global ecology.

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the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

In the first of six essays, Crosby describes how these two worlds developed in isolation, and then focuses on the profound impact they had on each other through the exchange of plants, animals and diseases.

Nigeria, for instance, raises more manioc than any other food. This is an important topic. In that year the Europeans initiated contacts across the Atlantic and, soon after, across the Pacific which have never ceased. No trivia ghe quizzes yet. It’s a good overview of the exact consequences ofand the discovery. Crazy as it seems, Crosby was really the first to lay out this argument that the most important thing about Colu This is the classic study that has now become a key part of every American and World History class at both the high school and college levels.


the columbian exchange alfred crosby thesis

What other impacts did the adoption of domesticated horses have on the Americas? Cook, Woodrow Borah, Kenneth F.

Alfred W. Crosby on the Columbian Exchange

Much of this flora would be exported and spread around the world by the Spanish forever changing the world. This created more food, since the potato produces several times as much food per unit of land as wheat or any other grain. It gave readers the look at the second side of the same coin, which was not widely researched before. A few errors are noted in Crosby’s preface — but it doesn’t take away from the most important points and arguments of this book.

With the objective absence of the ability to confirm or refute contained in book data, the historical studies are the only source to make conclusions about credibility.

Joseph Bognanno

Overall, the book was good. One wonders how a few hundred Spaniards managed to conquer these giant Indian empires. The plants and animals of the tropical continents of Africa and South America differed sharply from each other and from those in any other parts of the world.

Maize, potatoes and other crops are important not only because they are nourishing, but because they have different requirements of soil and weather and prosper in conditions cosby are different from other plants. Crosby tells the story of both large and small organisms movement afterin both directions across the Atlantic.