It also sets the stage nicely for O.D. His prose both shimmers and snaps, and he has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the oddest places. 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. We’re all aware of the co-evolutionary relationship between bees and flowers : the flowers open their petals to the bees, who buzz from flower to flower, collecting pollen and nectar and spreading the plants’ genes in the process. I called it quits when he started analogizing Johnny Appleseed and Dionysius. what? Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. —Entertainment Weekly, “A whimsical, literary romp through man’s perpetually frustrating and always unpredictable relationship with nature.” It may sound like science fiction, but let me assure you... it's not. These ingredients would be combined in a hempseed-oil-based "flying ointment" that the witches would then administer vaginally using a special dildo. 2001. 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. He masterfully links four fundamental human desires--sweetness, beauty In The Botany of Desire, Pollan makes a persuasive case that the plants we might be tempted to see as having been most domesticated by humanity are in fact also those that have been most effective in domesticating us. This was the "broomstick" by which these women were said to travel. He is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden (his bedroom? Michael Pollan has convinced me to buy only organic potatoes from now on. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. "A bumblebee would probably... regard himself as a subject in the garden and the bloom he's plundering for its drop of nectar as an object. The cinematography is gorgeous. In East Asian cultures – according to my increasingly Japanese daughters – the number four brings bad luck. 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. These are merely the standard tools available to the plant for survival and procreation. Elizabeth Gilbert’s novel “The Signature of All Things” is about a botanist whose hunger for explanations carries her through the better part of Darwin’s century. Their potion recipes called for such things as datura, opium poppies, belladona, hashish, fly-agaric mushrooms (Amanita muscaria), and the skin of toads (which can contain DMT, a powerful hallucinogen). —The New York Times, “[Pollan] has a wide-ranging intellect, an eager grasp of evolutionary biology and a subversive streak that helps him to root out some wonderfully counterintuitive points. —The New Yorker, “We can give no higher praise to the work of this superb science writer/reporter than to say that his new book is as exciting as any you’ll read.” 3.5 stars, 'Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat' Author Shares Some Favorite Cookbooks. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. I had it sit in my library of blinks for a while, thinking it had something to do with how plants influence sex, for example explaining aphrodisiacs. This is a marvellous book, which discusses the science, sociology, aesthetics and culture, relating to four plants. Dratted industry and their shipping lives, ap. 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. We first came to understand the way cells work through botany. 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. The Botany of Desire reader reviews and comments, and links to write your own review (Page 1 of 2). This is the best piece of anything that I've ever read on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening. Refresh and try again. There are currently 9 reader reviews for The Botany of Desire He is very emotional and at the same time very scientific and logic. 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. 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. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. But we’l. I loved the former, thought the latter was thin and a resaying of what he'd already said. Welcome back. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. This may be my favorite Pollan book of all time. 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. The Botany of Desire The domestication of animals has given us many advantages such as four-legged hunting partners, faster means of transportation, and the convenience of plucking the day’s meal out of the backyard rather than risking life and limb tracking it for miles. Just wow! 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 w. This is the best piece of anything that I've ever read on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening. Instead, he lets you get what he is saying while at the same time telling an engaging, well-researched story, both personal and historic, and one that made me want to read quickly to the very end. Four common plants and I didn't know they each held such a rich history. Start by marking “The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World” as Want to Read: Error rating book. As beguiling as the plants this book enlightened me about. But he does it in a way that isn't overly preachy or agenda-driven. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. This is an enjoyable book that wanders back and forth through the subjects of botany, history, and literary philosophy. Even the description made it look doubtful that it would be my cup of tea. The Botany of Desire lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. Four common plants and I didn't know they each held such a rich history. To that last end, I found the chapter on Johnny Appleseed very enlightening as well as highly entertaining. Caffeine: How coffee and tea created the modern world, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. Pollan presents case studies that mirror four types of human desires that are reflected in the way that we selectively grow, breed, and genetically engineer our plants. 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 altered perspective displays the multiple props of genetic diversity — color, shape, size, fragrance, taste and robustness — offered to seduce the gardener's favors. See all 4 questions about The Botany of Desire…, Popsugar 2020 - A Book by or about a Journalist, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, The Botany of Desire / Michael Pollan. In. 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. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our … ), 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. Reviews of The Botany of Desire April 30, 2001 “Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world.” —The New York Times “[Pollan] has a wide-ranging intellect, an eager grasp of evolutionary 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. ), to only eat organic food, and to find out the story and origin of every morsel of food I put in my body. Michael Pollan likes bees, and mentions them frequently in _The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World_ (Random House). Boy, was I wrong! The Botany of Desire is all about the evolutionary co-partnership plants have with humans: in particular, apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato plants. Slow book and kind of strange. 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 The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, Pollan builds on his former work and demonstrates how humans and plants have formed reciprocal relationships. UC Berkeley Events 367,303 views 1:11:42 Botany in … 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 chapter...quixotic. 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. Packed with food-related history, trivia and stories, Michael Pollan attempts to explain how four types of plants have had such a large effect on humanity. Michael Pollan approaches the relationship between plants and humans through the aperture of the plant. —The New York Times Book Review, “A wry, informed pastoral.” Great book, The Botany of Desire: A Plants-Eye View of the World pdf is enough to raise the goose bumps alone. I give it this rating because of the incredible thoughtfulness and concept behind it. and it occurred to me. —Chicago Tribune, “Funny, interesting and as delicious as a slice of summer peach … a must for people who like a good story.” and the bees were working above me. Quick Facts on The Botany of Desire When looking for books about nutrition and eating, it’s hard not to stumble up Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. We study botany because plants have a lot of information to share with us. This is because it sounds a bit like the word for death. To see what your friends thought of this book, Pollan is sometimes whimsical ... he writes in a way that is like no other author. It is a stunning insight, and no one will come away from this book without having their ideas of nature stretched and challenged. Pollan does a superb job of weaving together how humans effectively adopted “For it is only by forgetting that we ever really drop the thread of time and approach the experience of living in the present moment, so elusive in ordinary hours.”, “Witches and sorcerers cultivated plants with the power to "cast spells" -- in our vocabulary, "psychoactive" plants. “Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world.” This book had highs and lows but I the "strange" aspect is a reflection of emotional tone and style, The Omnivores dilemma was my favorite book of his. William Ballard - March 02, 2018 It's always fun to read Michael Pollan books This book was a beautiful book, though not the tome that O.D was, it's beautifully written. Johnny Appleseed’s efforts were to the overwhelming advantage of apple genetic proliferation, and the science of mass potato farming means more seeds are planted every year. In Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, we get four stories: the histories of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. The Botany of Desire is obviously trying to entice people into watching a … Clearly the number four has no such associations for Michael Pollan. just as a warning, the below is not really about the book by pollan at all (which is great, btw! The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus Chapter Analysis of The Botany of Desire Click on a plot link to find similar books! THE BOTANY OF DESIRE 2 9/22/09 ©Kikim Media 2009 Michael Pollan: It was that very special week in May when the apple trees are in spectacular bloom and they're just vibrating with the attention of bees. Did anyone else Think so ? —The Wall Street Journal, “A don’t-wanna-put-it-down unspooling of the socio-political, economic and historical forces that led to the cultivation of four crops. Mr. Pollan’s discussion of the genetically engineered NewLeaf potato, which was devised to resist its most dreaded enemy, the Colorado potato beetle, is a lucid and balanced assessment of this new horticultural technology, a subject too often tackled with barely muffled hysteria.” You might not think the story of a plant would be very compelling, but as our Plaza Branch Barista’s Book Club learned, Pollan intrigues readers through careful management of historical facts, research, and personal anecdotes. The time spent on talking heads is reasonable for a documentary, and much of the time Mark A Super Reviewer Feb 24, 2010 Lopsided and a bit misdirected, but overall entertaining and informative. Gave it as a gift on a couple of occasions after I read it. It's so beautifully written and full of wonder at the plant world. And I was planting potatoes. He is very emotional and at the same time very scientific and logical, that is not a common group of traits in my opinion. The Botany of Desire deserves a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. We’d love your help. 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. it's all grotesquely bucolic, and the lack of any synthesis at the end left me underwhelmed. The chapters on the apple, tulip, and potato offer cautionary evidence on the danger of destroying diversity in the name of commerce. The science also contributes to areas like farming practices, pharmaceutical research, and ecology to name just a few. this was like NPR in printed form, and felt intended to be read in that medium. Chef, writer, and cookbook author Samin Nosrat's first book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking not only... 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. 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 is sometimes whimsical ... he writes in a way that is like no other author. Pollan is a master at making connections, seeing the lines that connect disparate dots in the complexities of the garden, be they of a political, literary, historical, socioeconomic or, even, sexual realm.” He talks about 4 crops: apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and the interactions between them and humans: history, culture, human psychology, and science, etc. “The Botany of Desire” is Mr. Pollan’s first book to be adapted for television and, he says, his favorite of all his works. He chronicles the potato (sustenance), the tulip (beauty), cannabis (pleasure), and the apple (sweetness). This was a total surprise, and a great one. Too much navel-gazing and not enough substance. what? In his elegant sections on marijuana and potatoes, Mr. Pollan braids together cosmic ideas, conversations with experts and day-to-day reports from his own garden. New York: Random House. Best of all, Pollan really loves plants.” Dratted industry and their shipping lives, appearance over taste, money over environmental responsibility; dratted consumers and our being trapped in busy schedules, cheap produce, the quick&easy, the short range. Michael Pollan: "Cannabis, The Importance of Forgetting, and the Botany of Desire" - Duration: 1:11:42. He is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden (his bedroom? Instead, he lets you get what he is saying while at the same time telling an engaging, well-researched story. He talks about 4 crops: apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and the interactions between them and humans: history, culture, human psychology, and science, etc. The section on tulips as a flower embodying Apollo and Dionysus and about the apple were just brilliant. Of course Pollan realizes that intent cannot be ascribed to the plant. —New York Daily News. Wow! But he does it in a way that isn't overly preachy or agenda-driven. We study botany because plants have a lot of information to share with us. Gave it as a gift on a couple of. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire at Amazon.com. The premise was a good one, but Pollan's writing style drove me up the wall. I really enjoyed this book (and enjoyed the lecture I attended when the author talked about the book and answered questions.) The other two contributors... Reading the transcript of … ''The Botany of Desire'' is full of such moments -- moments when the thickets of rhetoric and supposition clear, and the reader stumbles onto a thesis as elegant and orderly as an apple orchard. 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. Inside you'll find 30 Daily Lessons, 20 Fun Activities, 180 Multiple Choice Questions, 60 Short Essay Questions, 20 Essay —Los Angeles Times, “Until I read Michael Pollan’s original, provocative and charming The Botany of Desire, I had never managed to get inside the soul of a plant. short, and by all means worth reading if it's all you have available. 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. The science. Michael Pollan wrote beautifully, made extremely valid points, and explained each plant in ISBN 0-375-50129-0 Mr. Pollan disabused me of my anthropocentric ignorance. I couldn't get into this book at all and gave up reading it after the first chapter. © 2020 Michael Pollan. 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, punctuating the text with juicy anecdotes, which I must say made for a truly spell-binding read. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The Botany of Desire is a very well done, enjoyable, and informative documentary, though with some flaws. All rights reserved.