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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By the same token, we're prone to overestimate our own agency in nature. Many
of the activities humans like to think they undertake for their own good purposes
— inventing agriculture, outlawing certain plants, writing books in praise ...
But while organic agriculture is gaining ground, few of the mainstream farmers I
met considered it a "realistic" alternative to the way we presently grow our food.
They may be right. In a dozen different ways, a farm like Mike Heath's simply can't
This sort of centralization of agriculture is not likely to be reversed any time soon,
if only because there's so much money in it and, in the short run at least, it's so
much easier for the farmer to buy prepackaged solutions from big companies.
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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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