The Botany of Desire
Random House, 2001 - 271 Seiten
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.
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As I worked my way up and down the aisles, consulting a computerized directory
that the collection's curator, Phil Forsline, had printed out for me, I concentrated
on the varieties listed as "American" and thought about exactly what that meant.
There must have been dozens of apple stories more or less in this vein, rags-to-
riches fables about a fruit, linking an exemplary tree to a particular American
person and place. The parables brought proof not only that the American ground
The arrow of natural history won't be reversed: by now the Jonathan's as much an
American as I am. The golden age of American apples that John Chapman
helped to underwrite lives on in the Geneva orchard — yet just about no place
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Bewertungen von Nutzern
LibraryThing ReviewNutzerbericht - harrietbrown - www.librarything.com
I started reading this book soon after my sister died, and all I could think about while I was reading it was how much I wished I could call her up and talk with her about gardening, genetics, history ... Vollständige Rezension lesen
LibraryThing ReviewNutzerbericht - snotbottom - www.librarything.com
Good read. Enjoyable writing style and sense of humor. Vollständige Rezension lesen
Beauty Plant The Tulip
Intoxication Plant Marijuana
Control Plant The Potato
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