Just how easily a second Wickham could come along -- this time spreading not the rubber tree, but its leaf blight, around the world -- became clear to Mann during a research trip, when he found himself standing in the middle of an Asian rubber plantation, wearing the same boots he had worn just months before on a tromp through the Brazilian rainforest.
And wealthy people looking for relaxation -- whether in Madrid, Mecca or Manila -- lit up tobacco leaves imported from the Americas.
Elite indigenous men regularly petitioned in the sixteenth century for permission to own and ride a horse.
Then by it was million, by it was million, and by it had raised to million.
Residents living in the Eastern hemisphere adapted to like the new crops that came from the Americas, and they eventually became a huge part of Eurasian diets. The potato, an Irish staple, came from the Americas. No matter how rapidly Brazil's rubber exports increased, demand grew even more quickly and prices continued to climb.
That range extends almost precisely to the Mason-Dixon Line, along which the American Civil War broke out inbetween the slave-holding states of the South and the Union soldiers of the North.
What if a few spores of the fungus were still stuck to his boots? Along with food and crops, many domesticated animals such as horses, donkeys, and camels were being traded too, including slaves.
Migration Along with diseases, crops and cattle, many humans also migrated from Europe to the Americas and vice versa. Tapped from the bark of the rubber tree, natural rubber was shipped across the Atlantic in ever greater quantities.
The exchange of so many varieties in crops and livestock improved the diet of many people around the world, especially in Asia, which in turn supported population growth. Rousingly told and with a great deal of joy in the narrative details, Mann tells the story of the creation of the globalized world, offering up plenty of surprises along the way.