Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World
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.
• Offers a broad and compelling study of how a little-known commodity like guano has influenced the world's relationship to the Pacific Ocean• Examines the history of imperialism, international relations, and other key themes in modern history, detailing how the modern Pacific world came into being• Successfully integrates the histories of the entire Pacific Basin - Latin America, the United States, East Asia, and Oceania - into a single narrative