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Crops and Human Culture

By Sidney W. Mintz

Part of the Historical Essay Series, this essay first defines "human culture" as it is set apart from the behavior of animals. It provides a background of the connection between humans and grain used for food. It concludes with the great importance of food for humans and the serious decline in food output compared to human population growth.

The Historical Essay Series is edited by Dr. Joseph Amato, former director of Rural Studies, with the assistance of Donata DeBruyckere, Janice Louwagie, and Dr. Thaddeus Radzilowski. It is published by the Southwest Minnesota State University History Department, the History Club, the History Center, and the Rural Studies program. It is partially sponsored and distributed by the Society for the Study of Local and Regional History. Assisting with the publication are Southwest Minnesota State University Word Processing Center and Duplicating Services. Additional thanks for supporting go to the State University Q7 Initiative Fund.

Sidney W. Mintz is the Wm. L. Straus, Jr. Professor of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. He has done fieldwork among Puerto Rican sugarcane workers, Jamaican peasants, adn Haitian market women, and has written much about Caribbean rural life. HIs books include Worker in the Cane: A Puerto Rican Life History (1960), Caribbean Transformations (1974), Sweetness and Power (1985), and, with Richard Price, The Birth of African American Culture (1992). Professor Mintz is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the 1994 Huxley Medalist of the Royal Anthropology Society of Great Britain and Ireland.

SSLRH, 1994

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