Sharon'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
Jul 13, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read in September, 2007

Really interesting (if at times stretched to fit) hypothesis that plants have exerted their own influence on humans to propagate the species.

The book was uneven at times, and the best chapters in my mind were the apple (sweetness) and the potato (control). Who knew that all modern apple trees are descendants of a single tree of their type, grafted an infinite number of times – that if planted from seed each apple tree would produce its own distinct variety? The chapter on the potato was terrifying, and it was particularly here that I appreciated Pollan’s interwoven tales of his own small potato patch and the huge, chemical wastelands of the modern Idaho potato farmer. All the chapters caution about the unforeseeable consequences of too much control over the environment – that a certain degree of “wildness” is not only more interesting, but a biological requirement. This book was a good blend of science, history and philosophy, written in an easy, conversational tone, and I look forward to reading more of his works.
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message 1: by David (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:16PM) (new) - added it

David This book sounds fascinating (as does Omnivore's Dilemma, which I also have not read). Looking forward to hear what you think of it..

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