Red Revolution, Green Revolution: Scientific Farming in Socialist China

University of Chicago Press
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In 1968, the director of USAID coined the term “green revolution” to celebrate the new technological solutions that promised to ease hunger around the world—and forestall the spread of more “red,” or socialist, revolutions. Yet in China, where modernization and scientific progress could not be divorced from politics, green and red revolutions proceeded side by side.

In Red Revolution, Green Revolution, Sigrid Schmalzer explores the intersection of politics and agriculture in socialist China through the diverse experiences of scientists, peasants, state agents, and “educated youth.” The environmental costs of chemical-intensive agriculture and the human costs of emphasizing increasing production over equitable distribution of food and labor have been felt as strongly in China as anywhere—and yet, as Schmalzer shows, Mao-era challenges to technocracy laid important groundwork for today’s sustainability and food justice movements. This history of “scientific farming” in China offers us a unique opportunity not only to explore the consequences of modern agricultural technologies but also to engage in a necessary rethinking of fundamental assumptions about science and society.
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About the author

Sigrid Schmalzer is professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the author of The People’s Peking Man, also published by the University of Chicago Press, and coeditor of Visualizing Modern China.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jan 20, 2016
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780226330297
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Asia / China
Science / General
Science / History
Technology & Engineering / Agriculture / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Hydroponics offers many advantages to traditional soil-based horticulture. These include greater control over many of the limiting factors, such as light, temperature, and pests, as well as the ability to grow plants in all seasons. With instruction from one of the top recognized authorities worldwide, Hydroponics for the Home Grower gives you step-by-step guidance on how to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, eggplant, lettuce, arugula, bok choy, and various herbs year-round within your home or in a backyard greenhouse.

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Background information on how hydroponics evolved The nutritional and environmental demands of plants and how to control these factors How to provide formulations of nutrients optimal to the plants you wish to grow The many different hydroponic systems you can purchase or build for yourself Designs for different types of greenhouses with components to fit your personal taste and budget Crop selection and step-by-step procedures, including seeding, transplanting, training, pest and disease control, and harvesting—along with when to plant and when to change crops How you can grow microgreens on your kitchen counter

The book includes an appendix with sources of seeds and other supplies, along with helpful websites and lists of books, articles, and conferences on growing hydroponically and caring for your crops. By following the guidelines in this book, you’ll understand everything you need to know to get your home-growing operation up and running in no time.

Moth and Wasp, Soil and Ocean tells its story through the memories of a farm boy who, inspired by Pu Zhelong, became a scientist himself.

The narrator is a composite of people Pu Zhelong influenced in his work. With further context from Melanie Chan’s historically precise watercolors, this story will immerse young readers in Chinese culture, the natural history of insects, and the use of biological controls in farming. Backmatter provides context and background for this lovely, sophisticated picture book about nature, science, and Communist China.

“The first time I saw a scientist in my village was also the first time I saw a wasp hatch out of a moth’s egg,” writes the narrator of this picture book about Chinese scientist Pu Zhelong. “In that moment I could not have said which was the more unexpected—or the more miraculous.”

In the early 1960s, while Rachel Carson was writing and defending Silent Spring in the U.S., Pu Zhelong was teaching peasants in Mao Zedong’s Communist China how to forgo pesticides and instead use parasitic wasps to control the moths that were decimating crops and contributing to China’s widespread famine.

This story told through the memories of a farm boy (a composite of people inspired by Pu Zhelong) will immerse young readers in Chinese culture, the natural history of insects, and sustainable agriculture. Backmatter provides historical context for this lovely, sophisticated picture book.

The author, Sigrid Schmalzer, won the Joseph Levenson Post-1900 Book Prize for 2018 for her book Red Revolution, Green Revolution. This is the most prestigious prize for a book about Chinese history, and the book upon which Moth and Wasp, Soil and Ocean is based.

Fountas & Pinnell Level U
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