The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
Random House Publishing Group, 12.06.2001 - 304 Seiten
The book that helped make Michael Pollan, the New York Times bestselling author of Cooked and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, one of the most trusted food experts in America
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—though 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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Thoreau claimed to like the taste of such apples, but most of his countrymen
judged them good for little but hard cider—and hard cider was the fate of most
apples grown in America up until Prohibition. Apples were something people
“Perhaps he inclined to cider...because it was nowhere spoken against in the
scriptures.” Whether this was really the reason or a rationale concocted after the
fact, Americans were indeed strongly inclined to cider, an inclination that
fruit, cider—being safer, tastier, and much easier to make— became the alcoholic
drink of choice. Just about the only reason to plant an orchard of the sort of
seedling apples John Chapman had for sale would have been its intoxicating
... less supported, if the land yielded only the useful maize and potato, [and]
withheld this ornamental and social fruit,” his readers understood it was the
support and sociability of alcohol he had in mind. Americans' “inclination toward
cider” is ...
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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 - Daumari - www.librarything.com
Figured I ought to read another Pollan, but most of his things were checked out (and the waitlist for Cooked was kind of absurd. Gonna put that one off for a while). This was one of his earlier ... Vollständige Rezension lesen