Crosby — The Columbian Exchange   Leave a comment

It’s not often that an author coins a term that is then used thereafter. Alfred Crosby Jr. did just that in 1972 when his book, entitled The Columbian Exchange: Biological and Cultural Consequences of 1492 was published. Crosby knits together the then-overlooked consequences of the biological reuniting of the East and West hemispheres. Though there are chapters on disease (including a fascinating one on the possible American origins of syphilis), the interest for scholars of Italian food lies in the part of the book that discusses the New World products taken back to Europe, the most important being potatoes, mais, and tomatoes. Incidentally it’s worth getting the new, 30th anniversary edition of the book, in which Crosby reviews his mistakes as well as the parts of the book that have stood up to thirty years of research since its publication.  (Prager, 2003) ZN

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Posted December 6, 2010 by zachmon in Uncategorized

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