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Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning|
|The human race may not survive the agricultural revolution. “This book is not just about agriculture,” Manning writes, “but about the fundamental dehumanization that occurred with agriculture.” |
Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization
by Richard Manning (North Point Press, 2004 ISBN: 0865476225)
Originally reviewed for SoloHQ before RoR days here it was buried in the archives and searches for "Manning" and "Against the Grain" were fruitless.
Just as agriculture drove out diversity in plants and animals, humans, too have narrowed to a few varieties of homo sapiens.
Agriculture created poverty, social inequality, and slavery. In the process, it stunted the human race, dulling our senses and our intelligence. The mind-numbing repetition of farm labor was not worth the price because agriculture actually created famine.
In a reply to that original review, Robert Malcom first pointed to The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs. Her thesis, supported by later archaeology, was that hunters met at permanent camps which became the first cities. Their bounty included grains. Eventually the enclosed walls were too confining and faming was moved outside. But agriculure was invented in the cities. Want proof? Where are tractors made? Jacobs also theorized that where you find pastoral peoples today, chasing herds, you will find in the approximate center of the range, the remnants of a lost city.