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Dangerous Harvest
Drug Plants and the Transformation of Indigenous Landscapes
Rating :
Editor(s) :
Michael K. Steinberg
Joseph J. Hobbs
Kent Mathewson
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
2004(pb,1st ed,fine)
Publisher :
Oxford University Press
The global drug trade and its associated violence, corruption, and human suffering creates global problems that include political and military conflicts, ethnic minority human rights violations, distortions of economic development, and environmental degradation. Drug production and eradication affects the stability of many states, shaping and sometimes distorting their foreign policies. External demand for drugs has transformed many indigenous cultures and landscapes. Traditional subsistence practices, patters, and processes--especially those involving drug plants--are increasingly being subordinated too the demands of complex global networks and markets.

Dangerous Harvest presents a global overview of indigenous peoples' relations with drug plants. It presents case studies from various cultural landscapes that are involved in drug production, trade, and use, and examines historical uses of illicit plant substances. It continues with coverage of eradication efforts and the environmental impact of drug plant production. The final chapter synthesizes the major points made and forecasts future directions of crop substitution programs, international eradication efforts, and changes in indigenous landscapes. This book explores the farmer as cast in various roles, from virtuous producer to agent of bice to circumstantial victim. Rather than demonizing or glamorizing those who cultivate drug plants, these studies demonstrate the deep historical, cultural, and economic ties between farmer and crop.

Michael K. Steinberg is Adjunct Professor of Geography and Anthropology at Louisiana State University and Cultural Biogeographer with the U.S.D.A.'s National Plant Data Center. His specialties include cultural and political ecology, ethnobotany, and environmental conservation, with a focus on indigenous peoples in Central America. He is author of articles and editor of books on these and related topics.

Joseph J. Hobbs is Professor of Geography at the University of Missouri-Colombia. His research deals mainly with indigenous peoples, sacred space, and protected areas, especially in the Middle East. His books include The Birds of Egypt, Bedouin Life in the Egyptian Wilderness, and Mount Sinai.

Kent Mathewson is Associate Professor of Geography and Anthropology at Lousiana State University. His research interests include traditional and ancient agriculture in Latin America, and the history of geographic thought. He is editor of various books on these topics and author of Irrigation Horticulture in Highland Guatemala.