The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant — thought this time the obsessions revolves around the... show more
In 1637, one Dutchman paid as much for a single tulip bulb as the going price of a town house in Amsterdam. Three and a half centuries later, Amsterdam is once again the mecca for people who care passionately about one particular plant — thought this time the obsessions revolves around the intoxicating effects of marijuana rather than the visual beauty of the tulip. How could flowers, of all things, become such objects of desire that they can drive men to financial ruin?In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings — and by doing so made themselves indispensable. For, just as we’ve benefited from these plants, the plants, in the grand co-evolutionary scheme that Pollan evokes so brilliantly, have done well by us. The sweetness of apples, for example, induced the early Americans to spread the species, giving the tree a whole new continent in which to blossom. So who is really domesticating whom?Weaving fascinating anecdotes and accessible science into gorgeous prose, Pollan takes us on an absorbing journey that will change the way we think about our place in nature.
Publish date: May 8th 2001
Publisher: Random House, Inc.
Pages no: 304
Edition language: English
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For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-CycleA fascinating read with a very unique perspective. I really liked that Pollan looked at evolution from the plant's perspective. It was so simple, yet so novel and interesting. I especially enjoyed the chapters on apples and potatoes.There is a lot of i...
bookshelves: autumn-2015, gardening, nonfic-nov-2015, sciences, tbr-busting-2015, nature, teh-demon-booze, philosophy, religion, us-ohio, recreational-drugs, published-2001, history, north-americas, nonfiction Read from April 03, 2013 to November 19, 2015 Description: Every schoolchild learns a...
Pollan... heheh, surely that can't be a coincidence... anyway Pollan covers four plants: apples, tulips, cannabis, and potatoes. Apples covers Johnny Appleseed and Kazakhstan, tulips the Dutch tulip bubble; cannabis; potatoesｅｎｄ ｒｅｓｕｌｔ：ａｐｐｌｅｓ ５／５ｔｕｌｉｐｓ ４／５ｃａｎｎａｂｉｓ ５／５ｐｏｔａｔｏｅｓ ３／５ａｖｅｒａｇｅ： ４。２５nice, i...
The author’s starting premise in The Botany of Desire has two fascinating parts. First, that plants benefit greatly from domestication, so our relationship with them could just as easily be viewed as them domesticating us. And second, that domesticated plants have evolved to meet some basic human de...
Writing is not Michael Pollan's strong suit. It took me several weeks of subway reading to slog through this short collection of essays.But the thesis is interesting--Pollan recasts the relationship between plants and humans as a symbiotic one, in which people do not so much domesticate plants as fa...