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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The fierceness of the passion that the tulip unleashed in Holland in the
seventeenth century (and to a lesser extent in France and England) may have
had something to do with the flower's novelty in the West and the suddenness of
"The tulip remained itself," Herbert writes, "the poetry of Nature to which vulgar
utilitarianism is foreign." The tulip was a thing of beauty, no more, no less. If the
tulip's useless beauty suited the Dutch taste for display, it also meshed with the ...
Unlike the alchemists, whose attempts to change base metals into gold reliably
failed, now and then the would-be tulip changers would be rewarded with a good
break, inspiring everybody to redouble their efforts. What the Dutch could not ...
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Bewertungen von Nutzern
LibraryThing ReviewNutzerbericht - LynnB - LibraryThing
Very interesting book about the interrelationship between people and plants, specifically how various human desires have meshed with -- or messed with -- the desire of plants to procreate. The author ... Vollständige Rezension lesen
LibraryThing ReviewNutzerbericht - snash - LibraryThing
A very readable exploration of man's relationship to nature, particularly with our efforts to domesticate plants thereby forming a reciprocal relationship. The book includes a little philosophy, history, psychology as well as biology. Vollständige Rezension lesen
Beauty Plant The Tulip
Intoxication Plant Marijuana
Control Plant The Potato
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