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The Profit of the Earth – The Global Seeds of American Agriculture - Chicago Scholarship Online
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The Profit of the Earth: The Global Seeds of American Agriculture

Courtney Fullilove


The Profit of the Earth is a new history of American agricultural development, characterizing crop seeds as deep time technologies transformed by millennia of human intervention. While the contemporary United States is a patchwork of large-scale monocultures, the book explores unrealized alternatives, from a Midwestern prairie harvested for production of botanic medicines to an American South populated by smallholders cultivating tea. Understanding why these futures were unrealized, and at what cost, conjures the histories of diverse people, plants, and knowledge on the move. Weaving together ... More

Keywords: agriculture, agronomy, botany, United States, history, seeds, global, capitalism, medicine, food

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780226454863
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226455051.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Courtney Fullilove, author
Wesleyan University

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Front Matter

Part 1: Collection The Political Culture of Seeds: (Patent Office Building, Washington, DC; Fujian; Assam; South Carolina, 1842–59)

Part 2: Migration Wheat Culture and Immigrant Agricultural Knowledge: (Peabody, Kansas; Molochna, Taurida, 1871–1903)

Part 3 : Preservation Indigenous Plants and the Preservation of Biocultural Diversity: (Cincinnati, Ohio; Smithland, Kentucky; Earth Core, n.d.)

End Matter