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

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See Reader Rating

Synopsis

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.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Michael Pollan

See more books from this Author
A longtime contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine, Michael Pollan is the nation's most trusted resource for food-related issues. He is the Knight Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley. His writing on food and agriculture has won numerous awards, including the Reuters/World Conservation Union Global Award in Environmental Journalism, the James Beard Award, and the Genesis Award from the American Humane Society.
 
Published June 12, 2001 by Random House. 304 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality, Law & Philosophy, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Reader Rating for The Botany of Desire
81%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 392 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×