Publication: Richard W. Bulliet, “Cotton, Climate, and Camels in Early Islamic Iran: A Moment in World History”

Recently published (2009) in paperback Richard W. Bulliet's Cotton, Climate,
 and Camels in Early Islamic Iran: A Moment in World History

table of contents:
1. How to Identify a Cotton Boom
2. Islam and Cotton
3. The Big Chill
4. Of Turks and Camels
5. A Moment in World History

description from the book's cover:

A boom in the production and export of cotton turned Iran into the
richest region of the Islamic caliphate in the ninth and tenth
centuries. Yet in the eleventh century, Iran’s primacy ended as its
agricultural economy entered a steep decline. Richard W. Bulliet
advances several provocative explanations, for example that the
boom in cotton production paralleled the spread of Islam and that
Iran’s agricultural decline stemmed from a significant cooling of
the climate that lasted more than a century. Substantiating his
argument with innovative quantitative research and scientific
discoveries, Bulliet first establishes the relationship between
Iran’s cotton industry and Islam and then outlines the evidence for
 what he terms the “Big Chill.” He then focuses on a lucrative but
temperature-sensitive industry of cross-breeding one-humped and
two-humped camels, concluding with an unusual concatenation of
events that had a profound and long-lasting impact not just
on the history of Iran but on the development of the world.


Camille Rhoné

Agrégée d'histoire, titulaire d'une thèse de doctorat en histoire de l'Islam médiéval ("Défendre le territoire en Iran nord-oriental - Khorassan et Transoxiane -, IXe-XIe siècle"), Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

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