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

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Bloomsbury, 2002 - Social Science - 291 pages
59 Reviews
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 obsession 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

Pollan's take on apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. A good mix of history, reporting, and personal experience as he explores humanity's relationship with plants (using these four to elucidate ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JaredOrlando - LibraryThing

I picked up and put down Pollan's Botany of Desire many times. It wasn't because it wasn't filled to the brim with interesting information, or that it was in any way tiresome of boring. The book ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

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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