Rahn's Plants That Changed History (1982) covered five categories of plants, four of them foods. Here she deals with only three widely different topics, and as the emphasis is not botanical the connection seems tenuous. The first section traces the development of writing materials from clay tablets to computers, with a focus on paper-making from ancient China to modern machines. Part two is on rubber and the history of the rubber industry, with a look at methods of tapping, breeding, and grafting. The final section summarizes the related roles of tea, tobacco, and opium in the ""China Trade."" Rahn offers no new approach to any of these familiar subjects, though as usual she proves a competent digester of information. Separately, the summaries could serve interested students doing school reports.