Cover: Corn: Its Origin, Evolution and Improvement, from Harvard University PressCover: Corn in E-DITION

Corn

Its Origin, Evolution and Improvement

Available from De Gruyter »

Product Details

E-DITION

$65.00 • €48.00

ISBN 9780674421707

Publication Date: 01/01/1974

262 pages

114 halftones, 11 line illustrations, 3 maps, 18 tables

Belknap Press

World

Harvard University Press has partnered with De Gruyter to make available for sale worldwide virtually all in-copyright HUP books that had become unavailable since their original publication. The 2,800 titles in the “e-ditions” program can be purchased individually as PDF eBooks or as hardcover reprint (“print-on-demand”) editions via the “Available from De Gruyter” link above. They are also available to institutions in ten separate subject-area packages that reflect the entire spectrum of the Press’s catalog. More about the E-ditions Program »

Corn is among the most familiar of grains; it is also one of the most mysterious. In this handsomely illustrated new book, Paul Mangelsdorf, perhaps the world’s foremost expert on the corn plant, summarizes the work of a lifetime devoted to unraveling the enigma of corn.

This unique grain—it has no close counterpart elsewhere in the plant kingdom—exists only in association with man, and it survives only as a result of his intervention. Thus, the story of corn is in many ways a story about people. Combining the skills of scientist and storyteller, Professor Mangelsdorf in his search for the origin of corn takes the reader to archaeological digs in once-inhabited caves in Mexico and the United States Southwest, to the discovery of fossil pollen in drill cores taken deep below Mexico City, and to experimental fields where the great diversity of corn is revealed and where the plant is hybridized with its relatives teosinte and Tripsacum.

Drawing upon the evidence from botany, genetics, cytology, archaeology, and history, the author seeks to evaluate various hypotheses on the origin of corn. He concludes that the ancestor of cultivated corn was a wild form of pod corn; that corn may have been domesticated more than once in both Mexico and South America from different geographical races of wild corn; and that hybridizations between corn and its various relatives have resulted in explosive evolution leading to a diversity of varieties and forms unmatched in any other crop plant.

This is a book about corn, but it is a book for biologists, agronomists, anthropologists, and historians, and for the interested layman who would like to know something about the grain which, “transformed, as three fourths of it is, into meat, milk, eggs, and other animal products, is our basic food plant, as it was of the people who preceded us in this hemisphere.”

Recent News

From Our Blog

Cover: A Shoppers’ Paradise: How the Ladies of Chicago Claimed Power and Pleasure in the New Downtown, by Emily Remus, from Harvard University Press

Going Downtown

As a child in Chicago, Emily Remus was enchanted by the sights and sounds of its downtown. Here she tells how those early experiences influenced her in writing A Shoppers’ Paradise, a book about how women in turn-of-the-century Chicago used their consumer power to challenge male domination of public spaces and stake their own claim to downtown

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library (loebclassics.com) extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.