The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan

The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

byMichael Pollan

Kobo ebook | June 12, 2001

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**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.

Michael Pollan is a contributing writer for "The New York Times Magazine" as well as a contributing editor at "Harper's" magazine. He is the author of two prize-winning books: "Second Nature: A Gardener's Education" and "A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder." Pollan lives in Connecticut with his wife and son.
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Title:The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the WorldFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:June 12, 2001Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1588360083

ISBN - 13:9781588360083

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Educational Read... Insightful and educational read.....Michael Pollan is truly a food genius!!
Date published: 2018-06-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Michael Pollan is brilliant! Yet again he has left me speechless with his insight into humanity and the plants view of the world. This book is about the co-evolution of humans and plants, Pollan goes into to great detail about 4 specific plants; apple, tulip, marijuana and potato. Pollan explores how their traits shaped four parts of human desire: sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. It's a truly interesting read!
Date published: 2014-01-24
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Entertaining and enlightening The apple and a brief history of Johnny Appleseed and a slice of America, the tulip and Pollan's pontification about the value we put on esthetics, cannibis and over-intellectualization of narcoticing impact on our humanity (!?), and the potato and a deep dive into botany and evolutionary perspective. This guy likes to professorialize to his audience.
Date published: 2008-05-07

From the Author

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 AmericaIn 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.