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Seeds of Wealth is a collection of elegant essays focusing on the economic and cultural consequences of the exploitation of timber, tobacco, rubber, and the wine grape. These cash crops have had, for the past three centuries, a profound effect on our world. In this intriguing account, Hobhouse illustrates how timber deficiency sparked an industrial revolution, tobacco lead Seeds of Wealth is a collection of elegant essays focusing on the economic and cultural consequences of the exploitation of timber, tobacco, rubber, and the wine grape. These cash crops have had, for the past three centuries, a profound effect on our world. In this intriguing account, Hobhouse illustrates how timber deficiency sparked an industrial revolution, tobacco lead to a wealthy and young nation, the rubber tree created nations, and wine provided the head, heart, and pocketbook with wealth. This book offers proof of how the seemingly irrelevant can have widespread unintended consequences. In presenting global history from his own perspective, Henry Hobhouse offers an overview of how nature has unwittingly contributed to the creation of human wealth and economic growth.


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Seeds of Wealth is a collection of elegant essays focusing on the economic and cultural consequences of the exploitation of timber, tobacco, rubber, and the wine grape. These cash crops have had, for the past three centuries, a profound effect on our world. In this intriguing account, Hobhouse illustrates how timber deficiency sparked an industrial revolution, tobacco lead Seeds of Wealth is a collection of elegant essays focusing on the economic and cultural consequences of the exploitation of timber, tobacco, rubber, and the wine grape. These cash crops have had, for the past three centuries, a profound effect on our world. In this intriguing account, Hobhouse illustrates how timber deficiency sparked an industrial revolution, tobacco lead to a wealthy and young nation, the rubber tree created nations, and wine provided the head, heart, and pocketbook with wealth. This book offers proof of how the seemingly irrelevant can have widespread unintended consequences. In presenting global history from his own perspective, Henry Hobhouse offers an overview of how nature has unwittingly contributed to the creation of human wealth and economic growth.

30 review for Seeds of Wealth: Five Plants That Made Men Rich

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    A comprehensive and detailed report on Timber, Wine, Rubber and Tobacco. Recommend read for anyone who is employed or has an interest in anyone of these commodities. In particular, an in depth analysis is given to each one. Full of detailed facts and references. Timber and its intrinsic role across the world for main energy usage, right up into the 1860's in the United States. Ship build and the subsequent stripping of vast woodlands. In one instance an area the size of France from 1840 to 1860. A comprehensive and detailed report on Timber, Wine, Rubber and Tobacco. Recommend read for anyone who is employed or has an interest in anyone of these commodities. In particular, an in depth analysis is given to each one. Full of detailed facts and references. Timber and its intrinsic role across the world for main energy usage, right up into the 1860's in the United States. Ship build and the subsequent stripping of vast woodlands. In one instance an area the size of France from 1840 to 1860. Even today, a major house build component. Wine and the fermentation process described in detail. History of rubber, latex development and the slump associated with war years and government intervention driving prices down, leading to extreme job losses revealed. Again with tobacco how it was probably the invention of the humble match that drove forward its adoption and that chewing tobacco, rather than smoking was a major means of ingestion for many. Each commodity has and still does play a large part in the lives and employment of many. Anecdotal recollection and experiences from those directly associated with each commodity through livelihood would have lifted the sometimes densely packed factual narrative. Admit to dipping into, more than detailed read, of Rubber and Tobacco. In particular, tobacco, its narrative and more recent demise is already well reported.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tess

    This is a book packed with information, and an admirable amount of research appears to have gone into its production. For me, it rather fell between stools; it is too opinionated for a text book and not personal enough to be a 'good read'. Dates and statistics chase each other - useful things to know perhaps, but they are interspersed with some strong statements of opinion around history, colonialism and politics that I found dated in attitude and jarring. I keep the book because I may find the m This is a book packed with information, and an admirable amount of research appears to have gone into its production. For me, it rather fell between stools; it is too opinionated for a text book and not personal enough to be a 'good read'. Dates and statistics chase each other - useful things to know perhaps, but they are interspersed with some strong statements of opinion around history, colonialism and politics that I found dated in attitude and jarring. I keep the book because I may find the material useful at some point - though as others have also pointed out, he considered not five plants but four: timber, wine, rubber, tobacco.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dorota

    Mimo, że znalazłam wiele ciekawych i rzadko znanych faktów to ciągle miałam poczucie, że czytam książkę napisaną przez dinozaura - mnóstwo uprzedzeń, przeinaczeń, opinii i stereotypów podawanych jako faktów itd. Dopiero jak zobaczyłam, że autor urodził się w 1924 to zrozumiałam, co tu się dzieje. Raczej nie polecam, no chyba że temat bardzo kogoś jara i pochłania wszystko co wpadnie w ręce. Ja dotarłam do końca z czystej zawziętości i masochizmu, bo byłam ciekawe ile jeszcze typowo anglosaskich Mimo, że znalazłam wiele ciekawych i rzadko znanych faktów to ciągle miałam poczucie, że czytam książkę napisaną przez dinozaura - mnóstwo uprzedzeń, przeinaczeń, opinii i stereotypów podawanych jako faktów itd. Dopiero jak zobaczyłam, że autor urodził się w 1924 to zrozumiałam, co tu się dzieje. Raczej nie polecam, no chyba że temat bardzo kogoś jara i pochłania wszystko co wpadnie w ręce. Ja dotarłam do końca z czystej zawziętości i masochizmu, bo byłam ciekawe ile jeszcze typowo anglosaskich stereotypów w najgorszym tego słowa znaczeniu (#kolonializm) znajdę. Spoiler alert: za dużo by policzyć.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Justyna

    Mimo wielu zaskakujących informacji bardzo rozczarowująca, chaotyczna, z wieloma błędami i BZDURAMI. Napisana raptem 15 lat temu, a niektóre tezy jak z wieku XIX., aż bolą i parzą z żałości i komizmu (np. dowiadujemy się, że Irlandia została przyłączona do WB w 1801, bo...cierpiała na brak węgla!)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Philip Demare

    Let me just say that if your the kind of person who is interested in agronomy, agriculture, horticulture and their history, this book is for you. That said the perspective of the book is crops or plants in general as causative agents of history. If your only interested in fiction (and probably don't like non-fiction), this book will probably feel like listening to Cliff Claven for 3 hours at a sitting. Neither is it a book to be digested in a few sittings. If however your like me and interested Let me just say that if your the kind of person who is interested in agronomy, agriculture, horticulture and their history, this book is for you. That said the perspective of the book is crops or plants in general as causative agents of history. If your only interested in fiction (and probably don't like non-fiction), this book will probably feel like listening to Cliff Claven for 3 hours at a sitting. Neither is it a book to be digested in a few sittings. If however your like me and interested in the history of our food crops and industrial crops and how the spread of those crops changed the world and history. If you like books like Rebecca Rupp's How Carrots Won the Trojan War, this book is for you. There are five plants (perhaps crops would be a better term) discussed: timber, grapes(the chapter is about wine), rubber, tobacco and coffee. Note that none of these is one species of plant in particular. Each category covers at least several species for each genus or family.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David R.

    There's a great deal of fascinating material, especially on the "Rubber" chapter. But everything is a jumble: discussions just don't flow logically, text is stream of consciousness, and even the title is wrong! (there are FOUR plants discussed). There's a great deal of fascinating material, especially on the "Rubber" chapter. But everything is a jumble: discussions just don't flow logically, text is stream of consciousness, and even the title is wrong! (there are FOUR plants discussed).

  7. 4 out of 5

    Nezka

  8. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis Herrick

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shaina Collazo

  10. 4 out of 5

    Linda Au

  11. 4 out of 5

    Papias

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ariff Kamil

  13. 4 out of 5

    Er

  14. 4 out of 5

    Emily

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jayne Tristan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Marbut

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kent

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lucy Parsons

  19. 5 out of 5

    Natajia

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jen Yi

  21. 4 out of 5

    Eric Tyler

  22. 5 out of 5

    Fraggle

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bex

  24. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  25. 4 out of 5

    Russell Johnson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Scott Bailey

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

  29. 4 out of 5

    Emily Benz

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kat Li

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