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Title:Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization
Format Type:Ebook
Author:Richard Manning
Publisher:North Point Press
ISBN:0865477132
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:240
Category:Food, Non fiction, History, Agriculture, Science, Nutrition, Environment

Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization by Richard Manning

PDF, EPUB, MOBI, TXT, DOC Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization In this provocative wide ranging book i Against the Grain i Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment For years we managed to meet that need as hunter gatherers a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human at our smartest strongest most sensually alive But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past years .

The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments however and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature s Drawing on the work of anthropologists biologists archaeologists and philosophers along with his own travels he argues that not only our ecological ills overpopulation erosion pollution but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil s bargain we made in our not so distant past And he offers personal achievable ways we might re contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet s

Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization

In this provocative wide ranging book i Against the Grain i Richard Manning offers a dramatically revisionist view of recent human evolution beginning with the vast increase in brain size that set us apart from our primate relatives and brought an accompanying increase in our need for nourishment For years we managed to meet that need as hunter gatherers a state in which Manning believes we were at our most human at our smartest strongest most sensually alive But our reliance on food made a secure supply deeply attractive and eventually we embarked upon the agricultural experiment that has been the history of our past years br br The evolutionary road is littered with failed experiments however and Manning suggests that agriculture as we have practiced it runs against both our grain and nature s Drawing on the work of anthropologists biologists archaeologists and philosophers along with his own travels he argues that not only our ecological ills overpopulation erosion pollution but our social and emotional malaise are rooted in the devil s bargain we made in our not so distant past And he offers personal achievable ways we might re contour the path we have taken to resurrect what is most sustainable and sustaining in our own nature and the planet s


Grassland: The History, Biology, Politics and Promise of the American Prairie

More than forty percent of our country was once open prairie grassland that extended from Missouri to Montana Taking a critical look at this little understood biome award winning journalist b Richard Manning b urges the reclamation of this land showing how the grass is not only our last connection to the natural world but also a vital link to our own prehistoric roots our history and our culture Framing his book with the story of the remarkable elk whose mysterious wanderings seem to reclaim his ancestral plains Manning traces the expansion of America into what was then viewed as the American desert and considers our attempts over the last two hundred years to control unpredictable land through plowing grazing and landscaping He introduces botanists and biologists who are restoring native grasses literally follows the first herd of buffalo restored to the wild prairie and even visits b Ted Turner b s progressive and controversial Montana ranch In an exploration of the grasslands that is both sweeping and intimate Manning shows us how we can successfully inhabit this and all landscapes


A Good House: Building a Life on the Land

b A Good House b is a chronicle of the year in which Manning set out to build his house and rebuild his life Combining entertaining tales of the cast of characters who helped him build practical information about wiring roofing and plumbing and meditations on the struggle to integrate environmental and spiritual values into everyday life this is a book about creating a solid foundation and building up from there in a hosue in a family in living a good life


Rewilding the West: Restoration in a Prairie Landscape

The most destructive force in the American West is its commanding views because they foster the illusion that we command begins Richard Manning s vivid anecdotally driven account of the American plains from native occupation through the unraveling of the American enterprise to today As he tells the story of this once rich now mostly empty landscape Manning also describes a grand vision for ecological restoration currently being set in motion that would establish a prairie preserve larger than Yellowstone National Park flush with wild bison elk bears and wolves Taking us to an isolated stretch of central Montana along the upper Missouri River Manning peels back the layers of history and discovers how key elements of the American story conservation the New Deal progressivism the yeoman myth and the idea of private property have collided with and shaped this incomparable landscape An account of great loss i Rewilding the West i also holds out the promise of resurrection but rather than remake the plains once again Manning proposes that we now find the wisdom to let the prairies remake us


Food’s Frontier: The Next Green Revolution

i Food s Frontier i provides a survey of pioneering agricultural research projects underway in Ethiopia Zimbabwe Uganda India China Chile Brazil Mexico and Peru by a writer both well grounded technically and sensitive to social and cultural issues The book starts from the premise that the Green Revolution which averted mass starvation a generation ago is not a long term solution to global food needs and has created its own very serious problems Based on increasing yields by extensive use of pesticides chemical fertilizers and monoculture agribusiness style production of single crops this approach has poisoned both land and farm workers encouraged new strains of pests that are resistant to ever increasing amounts of pesticides and killed the fertility of land by growing single crops rather than rotating crops that can replenish nutrients in the soil Solutions to these problems are coming from a reexamination of ancient methods of agriculture that have allowed small scale productivity over many generations Research in the developing world based on alternative methods and philosophies indigenous knowledge and native crops joined with cutting edge technology offer hope for a more lasting solution to the world s increasing food needs


Last Stand: Logging, Journalism, and the Case for Humility

In Richard Manning a reporter for the Montana Missoulian blew the whistle on two out of state logging companies that had clear cut a swath the size of Delaware through the forests of the Northern Rockies Manning s articles won his paper an award but cost him his job This courageous book is his story as well as a report on the destruction of America s woodlands and its cover up


One Round River: The Curse of Gold and the Fight for the Big Blackfoot

So much of the tortured ecological history of the American West has been played out in microcosm along the banks of the Blackfoot River in western Montana Generations of abuse from logging grazing mining and now overdevelopment have left this once vibrant waterway choked and gasping And today a new threat looms a massive gold mine hard by the river s edge Here is the biography of a river and like the best of that genre it resonates far beyond the life of its particular central character In telling the river s story Richard Manning takes us as far back as the Salish tribe who first settled its valley on through the years of nation building and the influx of new Americans migrating west to the new settlers of the nineties the well monied urban refugees who bring with them their own brand of waste and destruction He carefully and eloquently chronicles the successive waves of cattle of axes and chain saws of bulldozers and dynamite that have bled the life from the river This is also the story of gold the lust for which is now the driving force toward what may be the river s ultimate demise Finally Manning offers a ground level view of the battle currently raging in Montana to stop the mine and save the Blackfoot


It Runs in the Family: A Memoir

i It Runs in the Family i is a memoir of faith and willful ignorance truths and secrets rural and urban labor and fire fire as both knowledge and destructive force br br Richard Manning was raised on a piece of farmland in Michigan in a working class family of Christian fundamentalists Manning s father was a jack of many trades farmer carpenter builder power lineman factory worker small businessman His mother concealed her own troubled childhood beneath a religious faith that explained away uncertainty illness and tragedy br br br Manning grew up learning how to work and what to believe but came to understand his family s seemingly normal facade as a mask for troubling secrets i It Runs in the Family i is the story of Manning s journey away from his family one that ranges from their Michigan farm to the fire ravaged wilderness of Montana and finally to a remote village in Panama where he comes to pursue a past he had vowed to leave behind Linking his own life with the larger story of his family the land they inhabited and the right wing fundamentalist politics gaining ground in America Richard Manning offers a singular memoir


They Cannot Kill Us All: An Eyewitness Account of South Africa Today

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Inside Passage: A Journey Beyond Borders

This book is about an idea that rests at the junction of what we call wilderness and civilization Simply it is a call for rethinking and more importantly reconstructing our relationship with nature from Inside Passage Protecting land in parks safe from human encroachment has been a primary strategy of conservationists for the past century and a half Yet drawing lines around an area and calling it wilderness does little to solve larger environmental problems As author Richard Manning puts it in a knowingly provocative way Wilderness designation is not a victory but acknowledgement of defeat In Inside Passage Manning takes us on a thought provoking tour of the lands along the Pacific Northwest s Inside Passage from southeast Alaska down through Puget Sound and then on to the northern Oregon coast and the Columbia River system as he explores the dichotomy between wilderness and civilization and the often disastrous effects of industrialization Through vivid description and conversations with people in the region Manning brings new insights to the area s most pressing environmental concerns the salmon crisis deforestation hydroelectric dams urban sprawl and examines various innovative ways they are being addressed He details efforts to restore degraded ecosystems and to integrate economic development with environmental protection and looks at powerful new tools such as Geographic Information Systems GIS that are increasingly being used to further conservation efforts Throughout Manning focuses on the hopeful possibility that we can redesign the human enterprise to a scale more appropriate to the nature that holds it that rather than drawingborders around nature we might instead start placing borders on human behavior Perhaps he suggests we can begin to behave in all places as if all places matter to us as much as wilderness and in the process claim all of nature as our own Inside Passage is a wide ranging and thoughtful exploration by a gifted writer and an important work for anyone interested in the Pacific Northwest or concerned about the future of our relationship to the natural world


One Round River: The Curse of Gold and the Fight for the Big Blackfoot, They Cannot Kill Us All: An Eyewitness Account of South Africa Today, A Good House: Building a Life on the Land, Last Stand: Logging, Journalism, and the Case for Humility, Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization, Grassland: The History, Biology, Politics and Promise of the American Prairie, Inside Passage: A Journey Beyond Borders, Food’s Frontier: The Next Green Revolution, It Runs in the Family: A Memoir, Rewilding the West: Restoration in a Prairie Landscape