Volume 185, Issue 2 p. 243-250
COMMENTARY

Commentary: New histories of the Indian Green Revolution

Glenn Davis Stone

Corresponding Author

Glenn Davis Stone

Department of Anthropology, Washington University, St Louis, MO, USA

Correspondence

Glenn Davis Stone

Email: [email protected]

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First published: 21 February 2019
Citations: 30

Abstract

The Green Revolution continues to be a touchstone in debates on food production. Accounts generally cite “high-yielding” dwarf wheat and rice spreading through Asia and particularly India, resulting in lives saved, agriculture modernised, and under-utilised workers moved off farms. This Commentary examines the forces that popularised this version of events and then reviews a significant new body of writing, comprising five major works by historians. The new work provides a fundamental rethinking of many key aspects of the revolution, including the motivations behind it, the merits of the agricultural science in India that it displaced, whether the new seeds actually led to increased food production, and how concepts of desirable plants changed.

Abstract

A rush of new books and dissertations by historians upends common thinking of the Green Revolution in India.