Fred Gray is Emeritus Professor of Continuing Education at the University of Sussex, Brighton. He is the author of Designing the Seaside: Architecture, Society and Nature (Reaktion, 2006).
"A must-read book. Even if you don't think you're interested in palms, you should probably know how crucial a role they play in your life. . . . [Palm is] beautifully written and perfectly peppered with good references, photographs, and paintings. It's a pleasure to read, but it wasn't until I got to palms and capitalism that for me this book became something else. . . . What this book teaches, in its mannered and careful approach, is that palm oil is in much more than just biscuits and lipstick, it lubricates the modern world and how it got to play that role is carefully laid out. . . . The palm as a motif is often symbolic of leisure, of opulent exoticism and the remote desert island getaway, and yet in reality it is playing a far more destructive role."--Alys Flower "Gardens Illustrated "