Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 June 2012
This landmark volume eloquently underscores the enduring legacy of Jack Harlan's broad-ranging and multiple-perspective approach to considering the past development and future challenges of agricultural economies, world-wide. It also highlights the remarkable degree to which plant and animal domestication and agricultural origins continue to expand as a general research question across a wide spectrum of different disciplines in the biological and social sciences.
General areas of inquiry are continually emerging in science, and for widely varying periods of time, they attract and reward researchers, providing interesting and unfolding sequences of questions before eventually closing down as their research potential is exhausted. The evolution of agricultural economies, from first origins to future developments, is an excellent example of an extremely long-lived problem area which not only has witnessed substantial growth since the pioneering efforts of Vavilov, Braidwood, Harlan, Heiser, MacNeish, and others, but also holds the very real promise of continuing to expand and provide new research questions for generations to come.