Papyrus and the Evolution of Civilization from Ancient Egypt to Today’s Water Wars
by John Gaudet


At the center of the most vital human/plant relationship in history, the plant, papyrus, evokes the mysteries of the ancient world while holding the key to the world’s wetlands and atmospheric stability —and it needs our help.

“This fascinating and beautifully written book is an absolute eye opener into the extraordinary world of papyrus. John Gaudet has a remarkable story to tell, and he tells it extremely well. This is a wonderful, enlightening book with an important message for those concerned with the fragile ecology of our world.” – Alexander McCall Smith, bestselling author of the Botswana Mma Ramotswe series, No.1 Ladies Detective Agency, and Author of the Year, Great Britain

“Harvard University’s Belfer Center voted Papyrus The Plant that Changed the World Innovation Book of the Week and called it “A masterpiece in economic and historical botany.”

Nature (July 24) called it a “swirling anthropological and environmental narrative!”

“Not only does The Plant That Changed the World tell you everything about papyrus, it is a great read. The section on how to build a papyrus boat is hard to put down! The explanation of just how crucial papyrus was to ancient Egypt’s development is masterfully and convincingly told. I love the illustrations. They explained tomb painting I have been looking at for 40 years in ways I never imagined.” – Bob Brier, Egyptologist known as “Mr. Mummy,” author, TV host, Great Courses “The History of Ancient Egypt,” Senior Research Fellow at Long Island University

“A fascinating account of the plant that provided the world with paper for the first four thousand years of its history. I learned a lot from this book, not only about papyrus but also about how wetlands can serve as filters for waste-water and how marshes and tropical swamps can help conserve valuable water. Lively and well written.” – Jean-Daniel Stanley, Senior Scientist Emeritus, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Most people think that papyrus, the wonder plant of yesteryear, disappeared into the sands of ancient Egypt. It didn’t. Papyrus is alive and well and today thrives in central, south and eastern parts of Africa where it is a vigorous 15 foot plant with a prodigious growth rate. This is a picture that is quite foreign to modern Egyptians, as well as people living outside of Africa, and it is an interesting story, one that is stranger than fiction. It begins in the past when papyrus helped shape the course of history and modern civilization. It continues into modern times and the role that papyrus has today in the future of Africa.

Available at bookstores everywhere and on the internet at Barnes and Noble
also at the IndieBound book page or order on Amazon, and spread the word about this plant that will play a crucial role as the global drying of the climate continues.

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