Cover of: Against the grain by James C. Scott

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December 31, 2021 | History
An edition of Against the grain (2017)

Against the grain

a deep history of the earliest states

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This edition was published in

Written in English

312 pages

An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative. Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family--all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

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Edition Availability
Cover of: Homo Domesticus
Homo Domesticus: Une histoire profonde des premiers États
2019, La Découverte
in French / français
Cover of: Die Mühlen der Zivilisation
Die Mühlen der Zivilisation: Eine Tiefengeschichte der frühesten Staaten
Jun 17, 2019, Suhrkamp Verlag AG
hardcover
Cover of: Against the Grain
Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States
2018, Yale University Press
in English
Cover of: Against the grain
Against the grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States
2017, Yale University Press
Cover of: Against the grain
Against the grain: a deep history of the earliest states
2017
in English
Cover of: Die Mühlen der Zivilisation
Die Mühlen der Zivilisation: Eine Tiefengeschichte der frühesten Staaten
Berlin, Germany, Suhrkamp Verlag
Paperback in German / Deutsch - 1. Auflage

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Against the grain

First published in 2017



Work Description

An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative. Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family--all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

Links outside Open Library

Against the grain

a deep history of the earliest states

This edition was published in


Edition Description

An account of all the new and surprising evidence now available for the beginnings of the earliest civilizations that contradict the standard narrative. Why did humans abandon hunting and gathering for sedentary communities dependent on livestock and cereal grains, and governed by precursors of today's states? Most people believe that plant and animal domestication allowed humans, finally, to settle down and form agricultural villages, towns, and states, which made possible civilization, law, public order, and a presumably secure way of living. But archaeological and historical evidence challenges this narrative. The first agrarian states, says James C. Scott, were born of accumulations of domestications: first fire, then plants, livestock, subjects of the state, captives, and finally women in the patriarchal family--all of which can be viewed as a way of gaining control over reproduction. Scott explores why we avoided sedentism and plow agriculture, the advantages of mobile subsistence, the unforeseeable disease epidemics arising from crowding plants, animals, and grain, and why all early states are based on millets and cereal grains and unfree labor. He also discusses the "barbarians" who long evaded state control, as a way of understanding continuing tension between states and nonsubject peoples.

Table of Contents

A narrative in tatters : what I didn't know
The domestication of fire, plants, animals, and... us
Landscaping the world : the domus complex
Zoonoses : a perfect epidemiological storm
Agro-ecology of the early state
Population control : bondage and war
Fragility of the early state : collapse as disassembly
The golden age of the barbarians.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references (pages 257-300) and index.

Series
Yale agrarian studies series, Yale agrarian studies

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
900
Library of Congress
GN799.A4 S285 2017, GN492.6

The Physical Object

Pagination
xvii, 312 pages
Number of pages
312

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL26934620M
ISBN 10
0300182910
ISBN 13
9780300182910
LC Control Number
2016960155
OCLC/WorldCat
990684513

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December 31, 2021 Edited by Gustav-Landauer-Bibliothek Witten merge authors
October 11, 2020 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
August 23, 2020 Edited by Gustav-Landauer-Bibliothek Witten Added new cover
August 5, 2020 Edited by ImportBot import existing book
May 24, 2019 Created by MARC Bot Imported from marc_openlibraries_sanfranciscopubliclibrary MARC record.