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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These are the two poles I want to travel between in these pages: my boyish view
of the pointlessness of flowers and the unreasonable passion for them that the
Dutch briefly epitomized. The boy's-eye view has the wintry weight of rationality
For good reason, the Dutch have never been content to accept nature as they
found it. Lacking in conventional charms and variety, the landscape of the Low
Countries is spectacularly flat, monotonous, and swampy. "An universall
quagmire" is ...
If the tulip's useless beauty suited the Dutch taste for display, it also meshed with
the age's humanism, which was striving to put some breathing space between art
and religion. Unlike the rose or the lily, say, the tulip had not yet been enlisted ...
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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 - wrightja2000 - www.librarything.com
I tried to listen to this audiobook but didn't finish. It seemed wordy and repetitive in spots. I DNF. Maybe I'd enjoy it better in paper so I could skim over the philosophical wanderings and focus on ... Vollständige Rezension lesen
Beauty Plant The Tulip
Intoxication Plant Marijuana
Control Plant The Potato
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