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  • Title: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World
  • Author: Michael Pollan
  • ISBN: 9780375760396
  • Page: 369
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 AmericaEvery schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers genes far and wide In The BotanThe 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 AmericaEvery schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers genes far and wide In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship He masterfully links four fundamental human desires sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control with the plants that satisfy them the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the potato In telling the stories of four familiar species, Pollan illustrates how the plants have evolved to satisfy humankind s most basic yearnings And just as we ve benefited from these plants, we have also done well by them So who is really domesticating whom
    The Botany of Desire A Plant s Eye View of the World 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 AmericaEvery schoolchild learns about the

    One thought on “The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World”

    1. All those plants care about is what every being cares about on the most basic genetic level making copies of itselfDid I choose to plant these potatoes, or did the potato make me do it All these plants, which I d always regarded as the objects of my desire, were also, I realized, subjects, acting on me, getting me to do things for them they couldn t do for themselves.Pollan posits that plants are clever little buggers who have tricked and enslaved the human race into doing their bidding.I am no [...]

    2. I love books that open my eyes, teach me something, and even go so far as to re educate me on the fallacies foisted upon me by ill informed elementary school teachers To that last end, I found the chapter on Johnny Appleseed very enlightening as well as highly entertaining Michael Pollan is humorous and, let s just say, adventurous than one might expect from a journalist botanist see his passages on hallucinogenic plants I appreciate his willingness to go first in the same way I tip my hat to [...]

    3. Okay, okay, books by Michael Pollan are clearly a fad right now, but I have bought into it whole heartedly He is an amazing, amazing writer he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden his bedroom what , to only eat organic food, and to find out the story and origin of every morsel of food I put in my body But he does it in a way that isn t overly preachy or agenda driven Instead, he lets you get what he is saying while at the same time telling an engaging, well researched story, both [...]

    4. The Botany of Desire A Plant s Eye View of the World by Michael Pollan introduces the possibility to the reader that plants are using insects, animals and humans to ensure their own survival An interesting book about the symbiosis between all living organism and how Charles Darwin s evolutionary theory of natural selection is happening In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship He masterfully [...]

    5. This is a marvellous book, which discusses the science, sociology, aesthetics and culture, relating to four plants.ApplesTulipsMarijuanaPotatoesBecause of who I am, the things that interested me most were the tulip and potato sections.With the first, he discusses the notorious obsession surrounding tulip cultivation in Holland in the 17th century With the second he discusses a genetically modified potato which was on sale in the US at the time he wrote the book, in 2001 The potato is a variety c [...]

    6. In East Asian cultures according to my increasingly Japanese daughters the number four brings bad luck This is because it sounds a bit like the word for death Clearly the number four has no such associations for Michael Pollan The Omnivore s Dilemma is based around four meals and this one is based around four plants I ve done than just enjoy these two books, they have completely enchanted me whilst also informing me and keeping me greatly amused.Now, desire sounds like a strong word to use abou [...]

    7. I ve wanted to read this book ever since it came out, but, so far, I ve been pretty deeply disappointed by it From the jacket copy and reviews I d read, I d come to expect a poetic lay science book about the entwined destinies of plants and humans Hell, that s what the author s introduction led me to expect, too.I did not expect, nor want, most of the chapter on the apple to be concerned about the historical realities of Johnny Appleseed than with the apple itself I didn t want the author to ne [...]

    8. Reminded me of A History of the World in 6 Glasses with the introduction, except it was even worse Very long, repetitious, kept wandering into pseudoscientific philosophy As well as Scott Brick read this, it was incredibly boring listening to the same points for half an hour, so I quit Yes, it is interesting to contemplate whether we domesticated a plant or it domesticated us The evolutionary imperative of any organism is to spread copies of its DNA Yuval Noah Harari mentioned it in Sapiens A Br [...]

    9. Four common plants and I didn t know they each held such a rich history Well, I was kind of familiar with marijuana s development not from personal toking, honest Asian, but from being surrounded by tokers hey, it was Oregon and that it was completely villified in the just say no era of drug awareness education The chapters on the apple, tulip, and potato offer cautionary evidence on the danger of destroying diversity in the name of commerce Dratted industry and their shipping lives, appearance [...]

    10. Wow Just wow This was another museum book club pick from our Minneapolis Institute of Art while I like Michael Pollan it s unlikely I would have otherwise read this fascinating book Even the description made it look doubtful that it would be my cup of tea Boy, was I wrong Pollan looks at four human desires and four plants that satisfy those desires to explore the interdependence of humans and plants The desires plants are Sweet Apple, Beauty Tulip, Intoxication Cannabis and Control Potato He bus [...]

    11. .bu ukluk vermeyi sevmem ama asl nda 2,5.Ge en yine tatminsiz kald m Zaten histerik manya n tekiyim, gelmeyin st me Ba tan s yl yorum Kitab n i eri i olduk a dolu, o unu biliyor olsam da okumak g zeldi , yazar bir aktivist ve gazeteci oldu u i in birinci a zdan ara t rma yapm Ancak bu beni tatminsiz b rakt ger e ini de i tirmez.Kitap d rt bitki zerinden gidiyor ve yle diyor t rk e edisyonda d rt temel insan arzusunu tatl l k, g zellik, sarho luk ve kontrol bunlar tatmin eden d rt bitki elma, lal [...]

    12. Pollan represents one of my favorite types of writers modern polymaths who can bring scientific, historic and literary knowledge to bear on whatever they re writing about When it s done well, I don t care what the question is for instance, tulips aren t really my thing, despite their presence on my dining room table right now The conversation between history, literature and science really interests me, though, which is why nearly all of the books I read fall into one of those categories That s s [...]

    13. this was like NPR in printed form, and felt intended to be read in that medium the potato chapter was great, the marijuana chapter irritating, the tulip chapter needlessly verbose but full of some of the book s best trivia , the apple chapterquixotic it s all grotesquely bucolic, and the lack of any synthesis at the end left me underwhelmed short, and by all means worth reading if it s all you have available.

    14. I really enjoyed this book and enjoyed the lecture I attended when the author talked about the book and answered questions He talks about 4 crops apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and the interactions between them and humans history, culture, human psychology, and science, etc I knew nothing much about botany and have never been particularly interested in that branch of science, but this book was a very easy read and I found it extremely fascinating Gave it as a gift on a couple of occasio [...]

    15. I couldn t get into this book at all and gave up reading it after the first chapter The premise was a good one, but Pollan s writing style drove me up the wall I called it quits when he started analogizing Johnny Appleseed and Dionysius Too much navel gazing and not enough substance.

    16. This is an enjoyable book that wanders back and forth through the subjects of botany, history, and literary philosophy An example of the later is quoted below For look into a flower, and what do you see Into the very heart of nature s double nature that is, the contending energies of creation and dissolution, the spring toward complex form and the tidal pull away from it Apollo and Dionysus were names the Greeks gave to these two faces of nature, and nowhere in nature is their contest as plain o [...]

    17. Description Every schoolchild learns about the mutually beneficial dance of honeybees and flowers The bee collects nectar and pollen to make honey and, in the process, spreads the flowers genes far and wide In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship He masterfully links four fundamental human desires sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control with the plants that satisfy them the apple, the [...]

    18. A brief but compelling history of four plants whose genetic destiny has been markedly altered by man the apple, the tulip, cannabis, and the potato Pollan s argument is that, though we see domestication as a strictly top down, subject to object process, there really may also be some co evolutionary force at work Johnny Appleseed s efforts were to the overwhelming advantage of apple genetic proliferation, and the science of mass potato farming means seeds are planted every year But we ll get to [...]

    19. I read this a few days after The Omnivore s Dilemma , and began it the day after picking up In Defense of Food I loved the former, thought the latter was thin and a resaying of what he d already said This book was a beautiful book, though not the tome that O.D was, it s beautifully written It also sets the stage nicely for O.D.Here, using apples with their amazing capacity to evolve based on seeds that don t grow true to the parent , tuplips, cannabis and potatoes Pollan sets out plainly the cas [...]

    20. This is the best piece of anything that I ve ever read on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening Aside from making me incredibly sad at not having a garden patch any in my home and having to contend with purchased pots and soil, this book was a delightful read Michael Pollan takes a simple question Have we domesticated plants or have plants domesticated us and to make a case for the latter, provides us with a heady mix of history,science,philosophy,botany,literature and what not, p [...]

    21. Pollan s The Botany of Desire is by far one of the best books I have ever read, and it is one of those books that has changed my world view for the better Pollan takes his readers on an odyssey through the natural histories of four plants that have been important to the course of human history, and relates them to a certain form of desire that he believes to be inherent in each and every person He chronicles the potato sustenance , the tulip beauty , cannabis pleasure , and the apple sweetness H [...]

    22. Michael Pollan approaches the relationship between plants and humans through the aperture of the plant The altered perspective displays the multiple props of genetic diversity color, shape, size, fragrance, taste and robustness offered to seduce the gardener s favors Of course Pollan realizes that intent cannot be ascribed to the plant These are merely the standard tools available to the plant for survival and procreation Our desires are simply grist for evolution s mill, no different from a ch [...]

    23. just as a warning, the below is not really about the book by pollan at all which is great, btw , but is mostly some really juvenile hatin on thoreau so if you read it, shut up, i warned you i needed to get some trash talking out of my system before going on w my day so i cannot, for the life of me, read thoreau this may not be entirely his fault it may not just be that i find him frustratingly ignorant, pompous, rambling, lacking cohesion coherence, irritatingly than profoundly w out style, hyp [...]

    24. Wonderful, wonderful book, full of fantastic info and insights My main critique is Pollan s main conceit, and the language used to express it plant species have domesticated humanity just as much as humanity has domesticated them My problem is his constant insertion of agency into the process of evolution and mixing metaphors of individuals and of species Flowers are not individually clever, and neither are species of flowers Flowers do not manipulate bees in the same way that a botanist manipul [...]

    25. I was going on an airplane so I wanted to bring lots of different books for the different kinds of grumpy I get when I am in transit for a long time I brought Feminist Theory From Margin to Center, Asking For It, The Great Perhaps all of which were mine and I raided my girlfriend s bookcase for this one, expecting this would be the last thing I d pick up I mean, I want to know about Michael Pollan, he is huge and important, right And everybody in Berkeley wants him to be Obama s Secretary of Agr [...]

    26. The chapter on the apple was sort of enlightening, but had too much obsession with Johnny appleseed.The chapter on Tulips was really boring.Pollan s evolutionary philosophical speculation in this chapter is all wrong.Many scientific facts, too, are misguided or incorrect Lots of face palms.The musings on the effects of Marijuana is really uncomfortable.Pollan obviously wrote this chapter while high.He suggests that meditation can get you high like Marijuana, which just isn t true.He rambles on a [...]

    27. This guy has inspired me to grow my own food and keep a few hens in the backyard Being a little self reliant in these unsettling times gives me a sense of stability and hope.In this book, Pollan takes a look at four plants and relates them to human desires, I think He starts things off with the apple and goes into a bit of long winded ramble about Johnny Appleseed s quest to sell his trees to pioneers and his lust for a 10 year old bride fortunately this bit wasn t dug into with any sort of det [...]

    28. In a kind of a meandering, relaxed writing style,Michael Pollan tells the tale of apples, tulips, cannabis, and potatoes and their co evolution with human desire Although I agree somewhat with his premise that plants also influence human desires, not just vice versa I never found that he fully developed a convincing proof of it Rather, he just gently threads a tangential narrative about his subjects, as if he were having a conversation with you in his study while looking out the window at his ga [...]

    29. The Botany of Desire was written in language that made it obvious that Michael Pollan likes to hear himself write His ideas were interesting, following four plants, the potato, cannabis, the apple, and the tulip through their journey with mankind I like how he approaches the topic, observing not only what people have done to the plants to develop them to our own use, but also how the plants have in some ways used us for their own ends It is true that we, while we think we are masters of our own [...]

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