Print ISBN: 978-1-58765-551-7
# of Pages: 1296
# of Volumes: 3
Print List Price: $217
e-ISBN: 978-1-58765-555-5
eBook User Price: $217
Free Online Access
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Magill's Choice: Agriculture in History

Editors at Salem Press
August 2009


The first reference work built around individual events in agricultural history, Agriculture in History presents 150 essays on the rise and development of agriculture throughout the world.

Despite the central role agriculture has played in world history, the subject has received comparatively little attention in library reference materials. Agriculture in History fills an important gap in reference works. This set is a unique reference work that collects essays on important turning points in the long history of agriculture around the world. 

Scope & Coverage
The coverage of Agriculture in History is both geographically and chronologically immense. The set opens with a series of articles on the rise of agriculture in northern Africa and Asia as far back as 9000 B.C.E As the articles move forward in time, they cover the emergence of agriculture in all the world's populated regions and account for major advances in technology and the spread of crops through different parts of the world. Agriculture in History takes a broad view of its subject to encompass all aspects of human cultivation of food and fiber crops and the raising of poultry and livestock for human use.

Essay topics include:

  • The building of dams and canals for irrigation
  • The development of chemical pesticides to combat threats to plant life
  • Horticultural research
  • The invention of tools used for planting, harvesting, and processing agricultural products
  • The evolution of farm-labor systems
  • Government efforts to foster agricultural production, manage land use, and oversee marketing
  • The devastating impact of natural disasters on agricultural systems

The categories included in this set are:

  • Agricultural origins
  • Animal husbandry
  • Conflicts
  • Environmental issues
  • Famines, floods, and other disasters
  • Farm labor
  • Government actions
  • International issues
  • Marketing
  • Technological change
  • Water and irrigation

Organization & Format
The essays are arranged chronologically and offer the same student-friendly format users have come to expect from Salem Press. The top matter of every essay contains the most precise date of the event, the name of the event, a summary paragraph that describes the event and explains its significance, the location, the category (or type of event covered) and a list of the key figures involved.

The main text of the essay is divided into four sections.

  1. "Summary of Event," generally the largest section of the essay, provides a chronological framework for the event.
  2. "Significance" discusses the historical impact of the event.
  3. "Further Reading" is an annotated list of sources for further study.
  4. Finally, "See Also" provides cross-references to other essays within the set. 

Special Features
The front matter of this set includes a keyword list of contents and a listing of contributors. Volume three contains several helpful finding aids, including a time line of events, a Category Index, a Geographical Index, and a General Subject Index.

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