Mr. Pollan, an accomplished gardener and garden writer, presents a plant’s-eye view of the world that challenged some of my most basic assumptions about gardening, particularly the one about whether I control my lilies or they control me. All rights reserved. —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. The Botany of Desire is all about the evolutionary co-partnership plants have with humans: in particular, apple, tulip, marijuana, and potato plants. 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. “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. UC Berkeley Events 367,303 views 1:11:42 Botany in … We first came to understand the way cells work through botany. The section on tulips as a flower embodying Apollo and Dionysus and about the apple were just brilliant. —Entertainment Weekly, “A whimsical, literary romp through man’s perpetually frustrating and always unpredictable relationship with nature.” 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. This is the best piece of anything that I've ever read on gardening, even though its not entirely on gardening. Did anyone else Think so ? 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. Mark A Super Reviewer Feb 24, 2010 Lopsided and a bit misdirected, but overall entertaining and informative. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. He is very emotional and at the same time very scientific and logic. 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. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. He chronicles the potato (sustenance), the tulip (beauty), cannabis (pleasure), and the apple (sweetness). 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. As beguiling as the plants this book enlightened me about. New York: Random House. 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. Start by marking “The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World” as Want to Read: Error rating book. 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. (119)”, Borders Original Voices Award for Nonfiction (2001). Okay, okay, books by Michael Pollan are clearly a fad right now, but I have bought into it whole-heartedly. Aside from making me incredibly sad at not having a garden patch anymore in my home and having to contend with purchased pots and soil, this book was a delightful read. I loved the former, thought the latter was thin and a resaying of what he'd already said. 2001. 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. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire at Amazon.com. Of course Pollan realizes that intent cannot be ascribed to the plant. Four common plants and I didn't know they each held such a rich history. 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. Slow book and kind of strange. His prose both shimmers and snaps, and he has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the oddest places. Great book, The Botany of Desire: A Plants-Eye View of the World pdf is enough to raise the goose bumps alone. This is a marvellous book, which discusses the science, sociology, aesthetics and culture, relating to four plants. He talks about 4 crops: apples, potatoes, tulips and marijuana, and the interactions between them and humans: history, culture, human psychology, and science, etc. Hell, that's what the author's introduction led me to expect, too. These ingredients would be combined in a hempseed-oil-based "flying ointment" that the witches would then administer vaginally using a special dildo. There are currently 9 reader reviews for The Botany of Desire In. It is a stunning insight, and no one will come away from this book without having their ideas of nature stretched and challenged. He is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden (his bedroom? "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. 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). I took many a too-long lunch break because I was so hooked. 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. 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. 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. Too much navel-gazing and not enough substance. 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.” 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. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. 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. But he does it in a way that isn't overly preachy or agenda-driven. 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. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. The Botany of Desire reader reviews and comments, and links to write your own review (Page 1 of 2). This is an enjoyable book that wanders back and forth through the subjects of botany, history, and literary philosophy. The science. Making my little rows and putting in my chunks. I couldn't get into this book at all and gave up reading it after the first chapter. Aside from making me incredibly sad at not having a garden patch anymore in my home and having to contend with purchased pots and soil, this book was a delightful read. This book was a beautiful book, though not the tome that O.D was, it's beautifully written. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the 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'' 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. Michael Pollan wrote beautifully, made extremely valid points, and explained each plant in and the bees were working above me. 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. 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. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. Welcome back. He is an amazing, amazing writer: he makes me want to plant a garden, to tour his garden (his bedroom? Four common plants and I didn't know they each held such a rich history. But he does it in a way that isn't overly preachy or agenda-driven. Refresh and try again. 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 The Botany of Desire is a very well done, enjoyable, and informative documentary, though with some flaws. Michael Pollan likes bees, and mentions them frequently in _The Botany of Desire: A Plant's Eye View of the World_ (Random House). 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. 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. what? The Botany of Desire deserves a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. This was the "broomstick" by which these women were said to travel. 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. 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.” Caffeine: How coffee and tea created the modern world, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: Young Readers Edition. 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. 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. 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. The premise was a good one, but Pollan's writing style drove me up the wall. Instead, he lets you get what he is saying while at the same time telling an engaging, well-researched story. “The Botany of Desire” is Mr. Pollan’s first book to be adapted for television and, he says, his favorite of all his works. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. 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. And I was planting potatoes. William Ballard - March 02, 2018 It's always fun to read Michael Pollan books —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.” by Random House, The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. Boy, was I wrong! Book Review: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World. “Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world.” I called it quits when he started analogizing Johnny Appleseed and Dionysius. The Botany of Desire lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. But we know that this is just a … and it occurred to me. In East Asian cultures – according to my increasingly Japanese daughters – the number four brings bad luck. An interesting book about the symbiosis between all living organism and how Charles Darwin's evolutionary theory of natural selection is happening. The altered perspective displays the multiple props of genetic diversity — color, shape, size, fragrance, taste and robustness — offered to seduce the gardener's favors. The Botany of Desire is obviously trying to entice people into watching a … I read this a few days after "The Omnivore's Dilemma", and began it the day after picking up "In Defense of Food". June 12th 2001 To see what your friends thought of this book, Pollan is sometimes whimsical ... he writes in a way that is like no other author. © 2020 Michael Pollan. Michael Pollan approaches the relationship between plants and humans through the aperture of the plant. In Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, we get four stories: the histories of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. 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 chapters on the apple, tulip, and potato offer cautionary evidence on the danger of destroying diversity in the name of commerce. 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. It may sound like science fiction, but let me assure you... it's not. 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.