Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map

Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map Best Download || [Stephen Yafa] - Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map, Big Cotton How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes Wrecked Civilizations And Put America On The Map In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky s Cod and Salt this endlessly revealing book reminds us that the fiber we think of as ordinary is the world s most powerful cash crop and that it has shaped the de Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map Best Download || [Stephen Yafa] - Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map, Big Cotton How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes Wrecked Civilizations And Put America On The Map In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky s Cod and Salt this endlessly revealing book reminds us that the fiber we think of as ordinary is the world s most powerful cash crop and that it has shaped the de

  • Title: Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map
  • Author: Stephen Yafa
  • ISBN: 9781422351697
  • Page: 337
  • Format: None
Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map

Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map Best Download || [Stephen Yafa], Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map, Stephen Yafa, Big Cotton How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes Wrecked Civilizations And Put America On The Map In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky s Cod and Salt this endlessly revealing book reminds us that the fiber we think of as ordinary is the world s most powerful cash crop and that it has shaped the destiny of nations Ranging from its domestication years ago to its influence in creating Calvin K Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map Best Download || [Stephen Yafa] - Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map, Big Cotton How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes Wrecked Civilizations And Put America On The Map In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky s Cod and Salt this endlessly revealing book reminds us that the fiber we think of as ordinary is the world s most powerful cash crop and that it has shaped the de

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  • Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map Best Download || [Stephen Yafa]
    337 Stephen Yafa
Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map

About “Stephen Yafa

  • Stephen Yafa

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973 thoughts on “Big Cotton: How A Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, And Put America On The Map

  • So I told this girl I was trying to get to go out with me that I was reading this book She told me it sounded boring Maybe that s why she hasn t called me in a few days.It does sound pretty boring, and at first I was having trouble getting into it, but it s actually pretty interesting Cotton has a ton of drama associated with it from industrial espionage to child labor to slavery to genetic engineering to trade policies and their effect on third world citizens Cotton does a good job of outlining [...]


  • Awful Poorly researched, a Babel Tower of author s assumptions metamorphosed in theorems, claims without support by rigorous research and arbitrary statements that confuse any honest reader I was lucky I did not have to pay for this book, somebody was discarding it, so I thought it would be cool to read a biography of cotton for free Wrong I got what I paid for, then paid with my wasted time.Let s start with the end what this book is not The author writes in Acknowledgements Tracing the journey [...]


  • This book is well written and aimed at a general audience The author covers the vast ground of the subject by combining significant episodes in the shifting production and use of cotton over the last few centuries with biographical sketches inventors, factory owners, mill girls etc The strategy is a good one in that it grounds an economic story in human lives, but it makes the author s treatment of some of the subjects perhaps less agile than might be wished Chapters tend to lean heavily on one [...]



  • I wrote a lengthy review of this book, and then accidentally backed my browser up and lost it Cotton is a worthy addition to the list of Commoditographs histories of single items It does a great job of putting into context economic upheaval from British colonial India, to the mills of Manchester, to Lowell, MA, to the Norma Rae era textile mills in the US South, and finally, to the heated conflicts surrounding the global cotton market and manipulation of same.The strongest chapters are near the [...]


  • My interest in this book began when I visited the National Museum of the American Coverlet in Bedford, PA, and saw it in the bookstore the museum had a neat exhibit of antique spinning wheels on display when I went I ve never been into cotton as a material for spinning or knitting, but I m fine with reading about it.A few facts in the first quarter of the book which unfortunately I did not mark struck me as wrong, given my knowledge of fiber stuff, so I felt like I had to take a lot of the book [...]


  • As a few other people have noted this book is not an exhaustive history of cotton, but something closer to a series of closely connected essays on the plant The book focuses heavily on the United States While I generally found Cotton interesting, and Yafa s style engaging, I had two fairly minor issues with the book The first is that he has a few tangents that are not really related to the main theme of the book For instance he dedicates a fair amount of space to giving an overview of the histor [...]


  • This is pretty much exactly what you think it is going to be A big ol history of cotton The author is from Lowell, Mass, the original home of American cotton manufacturing As a result of this, the book has a certain US perspective, but still examines the global ramifications of international cotton trade, from early times to today s China trade conundrum I thought the one thing lacking from this book was the environmental disruptions of cotton growing Most of the discussion of harsh pesticides a [...]


  • You re thinking, he read a book about cotton How lame is that Well you would be wrong this is quite a fascinating book I had no idea that the wonder fiber has had such an impact on human history and culture But we do all wear clothes so I guess it should not be a surprise The desire to control cotton led Britain to over run India THey then halted Indian spinning and sent the cotton to England where mill towns did the spinning and weaving Cotton also shaped the American economy at the birth of th [...]


  • A very interesting book about the history of cotton, not just in the US but abroad as well From the cotton mills in England to the early factories in the northern United States, it s informative, well written, and flows nicely The author also describes how cotton production was a contributing factor leading up to the American Civil War, and goes into great detail about how that changed after the war and the infestation of the boll weevil.Probably the best thing about this book is the depth of th [...]


  • You are what you wear Or read Or eat Or something like that In the spirit of recent books like Salt and Coal, A novelist and playwright, Yafa examines world history through the prism of a tiny little fiber called cotton He touches on everything from science and economics to race and popular culture, painting nuanced portraits of cotton s far reaching effects on the English mill system, B.B King s blues, and controversies over bioengineering, among other topics It s a good, solid history, but at [...]


  • June selection for museum s book clubIf the rest of the book holds up to the promise of the first 25 pages, we re in for a treat and a great discussion.The rest of the book did indeed hold up While some of the descriptions of the various weaving equipment confused me, the personalities involved with the early textile industry were fascinating MUch of it felt very familiar, especially once we got to slavery and sharecropping, but the last two chapters on modern farming, nano technology and pestic [...]


  • Living in the south, while traveling I ve seen plucked cotton fields My husband, as a child, actually picked cotton and described to me his bleeding hands and feet, and torn clothing from this work, so I grabbed this book to find out In college I had studied the Civil War so was aware of the economic part of slavery and the Confederacy Union But I d never thought about the byproducts of cotton picking in the modern world, such as the Blues and Jazz in music, for instance Certainly I d thought a [...]


  • It s like a 2.5 The chapters about the growing and manufacture of cotton were good as were the chapters on GMO and trade disparities However, the multiple chapters on jeans, music and pop culture all struck such sour notes I almost tossed the book then and there Really this book could have used a better editor Not normally a topic I have any interest in, I did learn a lot in reading this book It was my 2nd year anniversary gift from my husband year 2 is a cotton gift and therefore, it is a book [...]


  • This is a wonderful non fiction book It reads like a historical novel and touches on economics, history, race, botany and fashion Who would have thought that a simple plant could have such influence on human history There are so many interesting facts that I was soon overwhelmed Great book for historians, trivia freaks and cocktail party one uppers It complements the other Penguin book, Coal, which has the same far reaching sweep for combustible rocks Both are great readskes you feel virtuous ab [...]


  • A good book in the tradition of Simon Garfielda trip through the ages with cotton fiber as the focus I would recommend for anyone who enjoys traveling through history one product at a time The author takes you from the Middle Ages through the early millennium, ending with biotechnology and fair labor practices Although I am familiar with the story, it was a good romp through history with interesting biographies of individuals to enhance the story.


  • Nice overview of the plant, changes in farming and weaving techniques over the centuries Place cotton at the center of industrialization for both the U.K and the U.S and their respective national and international trade and politics for most of the 19th and 20th centuries Leaves a little to be desired when it gets to looking at modern trade policies and politics, but a solid example of modern popular history focusing on one thread of history, or one fiber in this case.


  • This book is less of an exhaustive history of cotton and of a collection of interesting perspectives which are at least somewhat linked to cotton Each chapter could really stand on its own and it would probably make for a better to read to just pick up one chapter at a time at your convenience While Yafa may not be a great historian, he is an entertaining writer His chapter on denim was particularly engaging and I was completely creeped out by his description of boll weevils.


  • I was given this book as a gift and did find it an enjoyable and informative history of cotton in the United States While the book does briefly touch on cotton in other cultures, it is primarily a US centric history There was also plenty of sexism, racism, and classism If you re looking for a history of cotton in the USA, this book is worth picking up If you want a world history, look elsewhere.


  • Wow Never knew cotton brought so much pain and suffering on one hand and fame and fortune on the other Great book telling about two basic strains of cotton, history of Britain taking India over cotton, how cotton influenced the Civil War and how inventors made fortunes making machines to process it The chapter on the fight against the boll weevil that really was just mostly solved just recently Amazing book.


  • Not quite to the level of Oranges by McPhee or Botany of Desire by Pollard, but still and interesting timeline based walkthrough of the history of this adaptable and applicable fiber plant Read this for the Civil War historical basis, but was interesting to know evolution of this textile and how it replaced wool in Western world Towards end of book, Yafa gets a bit activist and focused a bit too much on genetics and the WTO contest based protests of 2002.


  • This book was fun to read I was drawn to this book after becoming obsessed with hand spinning and weaving naturally colored cotton I would have given this book stars if it included a detailed narrative about cotton being used on a small cottage scale Especially its cultivation and use prior to industrialization Nonetheless this was a worthwhile read


  • Fabulous read Couldn t put it down Read it in two days Big Cotton will appeal to anyone who 1 Wants to better understand slavery in America2 Has ever enjoyed sewing, knitting, or weaving3 Has ever tried to make sense of farm crop subsidies4 Has ever fallen in love with a favorite pair of blue jeans5 Appreciates an author with a pithy, dry sense of humor Mary E Rossow


  • By far, one of THE most FASCINATING books I ve read in a VERY long time This did NOT read like a boring history book but it gave a phenomenal insight into the growing and production of Cotton Yes Cotton with a capital C If you love learning things new, I highly recommend this book Enjoy it and I bet you never look at a cotton shirt again, in the same way


  • The topic is than just interesting, it s fascinating however, the writing is at the other end of that range More metaphors than Ovid s Metamorphoses similes as plentiful as the sands of the Sahara Puns are they needed to make the story readable I think not The asides some seemed a bit snarky at times deprecate the overall narrative.


  • No as good a read as Kurlansky s books, but still very good I learned too much about Jeans and genetically modified cotton I learned that most cotton plants in the US are made into feed for cows and such Pretty gross The story was too academic in some parts and too non academic in others I would definitely recommend however.


  • A surprisingly interesting book about the history of cotton Not one I would have picked up on my own, but I m glad Dan recommended it Yafa manages to write in a story telling manner, keeping the reader interested and wondering what the future has in store for cotton and it s place in the world.


  • Yafa is very detailed and thorough in his reporting on this natural fiber and its role in the birth of the industrial revolution I think some attention could have been given to cotton in the context of US and global economies, both in historical and modern contexts.


  • Very important historical overview of a product that for centuries was as important as fossil fuels are today If you want to better understand Industrialization, American Slavery and Colonization then read this book.


  • Seems like I just can t find something to read right now This is one of those books that tells you way than you ever wanted to know about cotton, and ascribes everything that happened to the world in the last 500 years or so to growing cotton Come on


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