John Reader

The Untold History of the Potato
  • The Untold History of the Potato

  • John Reader

    Where does our food come from? The story of one of the world's most important crops

    From the gold potatoes at the Sun Temple in Cuzco, Peru, the muddy ones in Ireland and those grown in China for McDonald's chips, the story of the spud is both satisfying and fascinating. John Reader follows the thread of the potato's story through the tapestry of human history, from its origins and evolution to its mysterious arrival in Europe, where it became a crucial part of gastronomic and social fabric. As global population swells and environmental sustainability becomes ever more crucial, Reader asks what role the potato still has to play - in this lively, readable study of our most humble foodstuff.

    ‘Each chapter is discrete in content and manner, yet densely connected to the rest. Wonderful: to understand the whole world through a single crisp’ Guardian

John Reader is a writer and photojournalist with more than forty years professional experience, much of it in Africa. Born in London in 1937, he currently holds an Honorary Research Fellowship in the Department of Anthropology at University CollegeLondon, and is a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and the Royal Geographical Society. He is the author of Pyramids of Life, Missing Links: The Hunt for Earliest Man; Kilimanjaro; The Rise of Life; Mount Kenya and Man on Earth.