The Botany of Desire
A Plant's-eye View of the World
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|Format:||Paperback, 320 pages, New edition Edition|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 03 March 2002|
A farmer cultivates genetically modified potatoes so that a customer at Mc Donald's half a world away can enjoy a long, golden french fry. A gardener plants tulip bulbs in the autumn and in the spring has a riotous patch of colour to admire. Two simple examples of how humans act on nature to get what we want. Or are they? What if those potatoes and tulips have evolved to gratify certain human desires so that humans will help them multiply? What if, in other words, these plants are using us just as we use them? In blending history, memoir and superb science writing, Pollan tells the story of four domesticated species - the apple, the tulip, marijuana and the potato. All four plants are integral to our everyday lives and Pollan demonstrates how each has thrived by satisfying one of humankind's most basic desires. Weaving anecdote and science, Pollan takes the reader on a journey through the landscape of botany and desire.
About the Author
Michael Pollan is the author of two prize-winning books, SECOND NATURE and A PLACE OF MY OWN. A contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine, Pollan was recently awarded the first Reuters-World Conservation Union Global Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.
Shortlisted for the Natural World Book Prize
On the sixth anniversary of its original publication, Pollan's scientific twist on the human/plant symbiosis makes its audio debut. Pollan preaches a unique sort of romantic environmentalism where humans and plants satisfy each other's desires for survival, enjoyment, satisfaction and escape. He uses the apple, tulip, Cannabis and potato to develop his ideas, offering the histories of each and how they developed reciprocal relationships with the humans with whom each interacted. Scott Brick exudes excitement and breathes life into the recording-the timbre of his voice offering just the right touch of humor and depth. Listeners will feel like Brick truly loves the book and loves reading it aloud. It's a great combination for listeners: interesting subject, great writing and wonderful reading. Definitely not to be missed. (Reviews, Apr. 9, 2001) (May) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Pollan's stories sparkle with curious facts and bold superstitions ... His aim is to encourage us to reconsider our place in the natural world" Sunday Telegraph "Beautifully written, as compelling as a detective thriller" Penelope Hobhouse 'An immensely readable and thought-provoking book' The Independent 'Pollen's stories sparkle with curious facts and bold superstitions ... His aim is to encourage us to reconsider our place in the natural world' Anne Chisholm Sunday Telegraph
Plants are important to us for many reasons. Pollan, an editor and contributor to Harper's and the New York Times Magazine and author of Second Nature: A Gardener's Education, muses on our complex relationships with them, using the examples of the apple, the tulip, the marijuana plant, and the potato. He weaves disparate threads from personal, scientific, literary, historical, and philosophical sources into an intriguing and somehow coherent narrative. Thus, he portrays Johnny Appleseed as an important force in adapting apple trees to a foreign climate but also a Dionysian figure purveying alcohol to settlers; tulips as ideals of beauty that brought about disaster to a Turkish sultan and Dutch investors; marijuana as a much desired drug related to a natural brain chemical that helps us forget as well as a bonanza for scientific cultivators; and the potato, a crop once vilified as un-Christian, as the cause of the Irish famine and finally an example of the dangers of modern chemical-intense, genetically modified agriculture. These essays will appeal to those with a wide range of interests. Recommended for all types of libraries. [For more on the tulip, see Anna Pavord's The Tulip (LJ 3/1/99) and Mike Dash's Tuplipomania: The Story of the World's Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused (LJ 3/1/00). Ed.] Marit S. Taylor, Auraria Lib., Denver Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
|Publisher: ||Bloomsbury Publishing PLC|
|Dimensions: ||19.0 x 12.0 centimeters (0.53 kg)|