It sounds like a fun class. I wonder if you'll need to piece the
readings together, a difficult task. The book that comes to mind for me
is even older than yours, but it is still listed on Norton's website.
Tippo and Stern. 1977. Humanistic Botany. Norton Publishers.
I'm sure it's out of print, but perhaps the company has enough copies
for your class?
An economic botany book (e.g. Simpson and Ogozaly) might also be good,
but it will probably have more botany and less history than you want.
One of my favorite sections in Tippo and Stern reminds me of the "5
plants" you mention. It titled "Twelve plants standing between man and
starvation." I use it to quiz my students...wheat, corn, rice, white
potato, sweet potato, manioc, sugar cane, sugar beet, common bean,
soybean, coconut, and banana. Quinine has a large section in the book,
but not in the context of mixing it with distilled juniper-flavored
beverages and a twist of lime, as I prefer it.
Douglas P. Jensen
Assistant Professor and Biology Chair
580 E. Main St.
Spartanburg, South Carolina 29302
douglas.jensen at converse.edu
From: owner-plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk
[mailto:owner-plant-ed at hgmp.mrc.ac.uk]On Behalf Of "Robinson, Dr. David"
Sent: Wednesday, October 27, 2004 5:38 PM
To: plant-ed at net.bio.net
Subject: Seeds of Change by H. Hobhouse
I emailed the group last year about a new seminar course I am teaching
this spring called "Plants That Changed The World". Its not a botany
course, but rather one that discusses the myriad of different ways that
plants have affected our world including as fuel, food, medicine, wood
for construction & art, and global environmental change (absorbing CO2,
One of the books I intended to use is "Seeds of Change" by Henry
Hobhouse (1986), but just found out that it is no longer in print!!
This book had discussed how 5 plants (Cotton, Quinine, Tea, Sugar Cane,
and Potato) have altered the course of human history. It was a great
book, but don't want to have to scrounge 15 copies every year through
Does anyone know of any other books out there (that are well documented
and fairly scholarly) on how plants have impacted our history??
I know about two books, "Seeds of Change" by Viola and Margolis (1991),
and "Green Inheritance" by Huxley (1984) which are nice, but not very
Thanks for names of any favorite books like this that you might have!
Dave Robinson, Chair
2001 Newburg Road
Louisville, KY 40205