Hardback
March 8, 2022
9780813183817
English
302
24 b&w halftones, 8 maps, 4 charts
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$27.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 8, 2022
9780813183824
9780813183817
English
302
24 b&w halftones, 8 maps, 4 charts
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$27.95 USD
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
March 8, 2022
9780813183831
9780813183817
English
302
24 b&w halftones, 8 maps, 4 charts
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$27.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

Ginseng Diggers

A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia

The harvesting of wild American ginseng (panax quinquefolium), the gnarled, aromatic herb known for its therapeutic and healing properties, is deeply established in North America and has played an especially vital role in the southern and central Appalachian Mountains. Traded through a trans-Pacific network that connected the region to East Asian markets, ginseng was but one of several medicinal Appalachian plants that entered international webs of exchange. As the production of patent medicines and botanical pharmaceutical products escalated in the mid- to late-nineteenth century, southern Appalachia emerged as the United States' most prolific supplier of many species of medicinal plants. The region achieved this distinction because of its biodiversity and the persistence of certain common rights that guaranteed widespread access to the forested mountainsides, regardless of who owned the land.

Following the Civil War, root digging and herb gathering became one of the most important ways landless families and small farmers earned income from the forest commons. This boom influenced class relations, gender roles, forest use, and outside perceptions of Appalachia, and began a widespread renegotiation of common rights that eventually curtailed access to ginseng and other plants.

Based on extensive research into the business records of mountain entrepreneurs, country stores, and pharmaceutical companies, Ginseng Diggers: A History of Root and Herb Gathering in Appalachia is the first book to unearth the unique relationship between the Appalachian region and the global trade in medicinal plants. Historian Luke Manget expands our understanding of the gathering commons by exploring how and why Appalachia became the nation's premier purveyor of botanical drugs in the late-nineteenth century and how the trade influenced the way residents of the region interacted with each other and the forests around them.

About the Author

Luke Manget is assistant professor of history at Dalton State College in Dalton, Georgia. He is a contributor to Southern Communities: Identity, Conflict, and Memory in the Nineteenth-Century American South, edited by Steven E. Nash and Bruce E. Stewart.

Reviews

"On rare occasions a book comes along that totally revises how we look at important historical issues. Luke Manget's Ginseng Diggers is such a book providing crucial new insights into Appalachian subsistence practices. Manget opens up a whole new world of root and herb gathering, the business surrounding it, and the commons practices that made it possible. A must read for scholars of Appalachia and anyone interested in the region's culture and history."—Daniel S. Pierce, author Tar Heel Lightnin': How Hidden Stills and Fast Cars Made North Carolina the Moonshine Capital of the World

"Manget's impressive research in merchant records, correspondence, diaries and local newspapers provides a fascinating glimpse at the evolution of ginseng culture in Appalachia and its connection to the national economy and society. A major addition to our understanding of land use, the role of the commons, and capitalism in the mountains."—Ronald D. Eller, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Kentucky and author of Uneven Ground: Appalachia Since 1945

"With careful research and engaging prose, Luke Manget unravels the fascinating story of American ginseng and those who harvested it and other medicinal plants from mountain forests. Devoting equal time to both people and nature, the author provides a fresh environmental context for considering issues crucial to Appalachian history, including the changing forest commons and the vagaries of capitalism in small communities. This is a must read for anyone interested in ecology, economics, and the enduring legacy of the Appalachian 'sang-digger.'"—Timothy Silver, author of Mount Mitchell and the Black Mountains: An Environmental History of the Highest Peaks in Eastern America and coauthor of An Environmental History of the Civil War

"Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Ginseng Diggers is a tour de force in the still-emerging field of U.S. commons history. Manget guides us surefootedly through nineteenth-century Appalachian forests, excavating the intricate ecologies, economies, and cultural contexts medicinal plant gatherers routinely navigated. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in imagining more sustainable futures, Ginseng Diggers makes vital contributions to the histories of medicine and capitalism as well as to environmental history and Appalachian studies."—Kathryn Newfont, author of Blue Ridge Commons and coeditor of The Land Speaks

 

9780813183817 : ginseng-diggers-manget
Hardback
March 8, 2022
$27.95 USD
9780813183824 : ginseng-diggers-manget
Electronic book text
March 8, 2022
$27.95 USD
9780813183831 : ginseng-diggers-manget
Electronic book text
March 8, 2022
$27.95 USD

Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Agriculture & Food

Growing Stories from India

A. Whitney Sanford, foreword by Vandana Shiva
Jun 2022 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text
$35.00 USD - Electronic book text

A Drum in One Hand, a Sockeye in the Other

Charlotte Coté
Jan 2022 - University of Washington Press
$99.00 USD - Hardback
$29.95 USD - Paperback / softback

An American Experience in Indonesia

Howard W. Beers
Oct 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$30.00 USD - Paperback / softback
$45.00 USD - Electronic book text