Joseph'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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's review
Sep 16, 2009

really liked it
Read in September, 2009

An enjoyable read that taught me a lot. If you haven't read Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" or "In Defense of Food", I would still start with those first, but if they've left you wanting more, this book is a welcome addition--full of the same smart, poetic prose that makes Pollan's books as much fun to read as they are educational. In this book he tells the story of four plants--apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes--to explain four basic human desires--sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control, respectively--and how those plants have changed us to improve their lives just as much as we think we've done to them. It's a clever point-of-view that he also brings up in his later books, but since this book is less grand and preachy in its aims, it's developed more fully and surrounded with more great storytelling.
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