Jennifer's Reviews > The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World

The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan
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Sep 21, 07

really liked it
bookshelves: nonfiction, conscious-living
Read in September, 2007

Michael Pollan constantly forces me to rethink my relationship with nature and society. He writes without ever feeling dogmatic, yet is able to shed some harsh light on aspects of our relationship with nature and each other that we shouldn't ignore.

The book is broken up into four different plants and an associated human desire that helped shape them; the apple:sweetness, the tulip: beauty, marijuana: intoxication, and the potato: control.

Of course, none of these plants were truly shaped by one desire, and the part that other desires play in the history of these plants are what truly enamored me with his writing. It is immediately understandable why the apple is associated with our desire for sweetness, but it is finding out about it's history fulfilling our desire for intoxication, stability, or wealth that were less expected.

The same follows for the other three plants. Even though control is the desire associated with the potato, it is obvious that the desire for control over nature (both human and plant) is a central theme in the whole book, as well as how this desire for control can lead to unexpected or even disastrous results.



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