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Cotton: The Biography of a Revolutionary Fiber Paperback – June 27, 2006
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"I have to hand it to Mr. Yafa. Cotton rules." —The Wall Street Journal
"With wit and intelligence, Yafa demonstrates how a good deal of history can be learned by following a single thread." —The Washington Post
"A comprehensive and often surprising history [of a crop that changed the world]." —USA Today
About the Author
Stephen Yafa, a novelist, playwright, and award-winning screenwriter, has written for Playboy, Details, Rolling Stone, and the San Francisco Chronicle.
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But no. The book has some snippets of interesting information about cotton, but only in passing. An inordinate amount of text is spent talking (not discussing) modern, trendy and transient uses of cotton. There is little awareness of the impact of cotton on economies thru the ages. Therefore, I cannot recommend this book.
Interesting aside: reliable ancient trading records of basic commodities including cotton go back 2,500 years. Adjusting for various factors, the long-term history shows that the market price of cotton thru millenia is fairly constant relative to other commodities. Ancient records of Interest rates follow a predictable but much more widely varying pattern. 18% is about the rough rate although additional circumstances determine the final risk. In this, the records of the banking house of Ibidi and Sons (during the Persian Empire re: Xeres and his son Artaxerxes) are invaluable.
The more you learn, the more interesting things can become. It's like mental hyperlinks on the Web, only better.
It depicts the driving forces behind the cotton's historical culture, farming and trade at different levels.
The book is also up to date with the current trends.