For centuries, bird guano has played a pivotal role in the
agricultural and economic development of Latin America, East Asia,
and Oceania. As their populations ballooned during the Industrial
Revolution, North American and European powers came to depend on
this unique resource as well, helping them meet their
ever-increasing farming needs. This book explores how the
production and commodification of guano has shaped the modern
Pacific Basin and the world's relationship to the region. Marrying
traditional methods of historical analysis with a broad
interdisciplinary approach, Gregory T. Cushman casts this once
little-known commodity as an engine of Western industrialization,
offering new insight into uniquely modern developments such as
environmental consciousness and conservation movements; the
ascendance of science, technology, and expertise; international
relations; and world war.
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