Pollan writes that beauty is a desire that is so burrowed in our psyche that humans will chase even a flower. Escape to the movies with one of our Movie Review Friday selections. Cannabis, The Importance Of Forgetting, And The Botany Of Desire book. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan Book Review - Free download as Word Doc (.doc), PDF File (.pdf), Text File (.txt) or read online for free. It seems that by the time the singular beauty of a flower in bloom can no longer pierce that veil of black or obsessive thoughts in a person’s mind, that mind’s connection to the sensual world has grown dangerously frayed.” (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, pg.64). The Botany of Desire was my trans-Pacific flight companion in good measure of the 5 hours it takes to fly from Hawai‘i to Portland: I read half of the book on the way there, covering Pollan’s first two stories of the botany of desire (the apple/sweetness and tulip/beauty), and then finished it on the trip back home (learning of his connection for marijuana/intoxication and the potato/control in the last two stories). Beauty simply assists a flower with the process of evolution. The Botany of Desire is a brilliant book, thoroughly researched, and thoroughly absorbing. ISBN 0-375-50129-0 The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan is an intriguing book that focuses on four different human desires and compares each one to a plant. Michael Pollan, The Botany Of Desire So a plant that produced THC to confuse insects and predators found in humans the means by which to expand its gene pool. * Two reasons. Directed by Michael Schwarz, Edward Gray. The tulip, beauty; marijuana, intoxication; the apple, sweetness; and the potato, control. This book led me to great, deep thoughts. This made up for his “history lessons”, which felt almost almost unnecessary. The book was published in multiple languages including English, consists of 297 pages and is available in Paperback format. One. Following the path that John Chapman blazed, aka “Johnny Appleseed”, Pollan shows how apple trees, native to Kazakhstan as best as anyone can tell, has become associated with all things American. 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 plants which exhibit the greatest of these traits (or are most responsive to control) have a long association with us. Not only do we yearn for symmetry and the utter beauty of a flower, but bees also desire these characteristics when pollinating. He mentions that he tried growing it out of pure curiosity from a modern gardeners point of view. Those books crystallized America’s health-related diet issues, explaining the infinite processing of foods made in factories, the absence of diet-related diseases in certain cultures, and how we have over-complicated our ever-changing view of nutrition. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. Tulipomania was a widespread obsession over tulips in Europe. Pollan’s description of the soil on these farms is stunning – “a lifeless gray powder”, which the farmers ironically refer to as a “clean field” (because nothing can live in it – no bug, no animal, no weed – except the potato). We best respond to sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. Send us a review of 100 or fewer words and look for it in the next Movie Review Friday.. Pollan destroyed his tall plants, but remained curious about how the rest of the world viewed the drug. From Todd Heft @ Big Blog Of Gardening: Homegrown Tomatoes: The Step-By-Step Guide To Growing Delicious Organic Tomatoes In Your Garden. 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. ( Log Out /  However, after reading this chapter I will never look at an apple in the same light. However, parts of the book did drag on. Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2001. After explaining Johnny’s mission, Pollan writes that the apples Johnny spread throughout America were not the sweet apples that we have today. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. He visited Amsterdam, where growing weed is the “normal.” As a gardener he was enamored by the stigma against a simple plant, the love for it, and the growing process. 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. The main characters of this non fiction, science story are , . Buy The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-eye View of the World New edition by Pollan, Michael (ISBN: 9780747563006) from Amazon's Book Store. Pollan concludes that intoxication is such an intrinsic desire because humans feel the need to escape their daily, stressful lives. Pollan makes the point that symmetry is a sign of health in any living creature. This books sounds great…definitely going on my “to read” list. We evolve with one another; for example, developing the perfect apple and helping it thrive as a species. The four human desires that he chose were sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. Chapman blazed a trail through the early 19th-century wilderness of Ohio by way of a canoe loaded with apple seed. Edit them in the Widget section of the. Each allows him to discuss a variety of historical issues and developments. The gene pools of plants that don’t, fade away into obscurity. I give it this rating because of the incredible thoughtfulness and concept behind it. Chances are I’ve already eaten plenty of NewLeafs already, at McDonald’s or in bags of Frito-Lay chips, though without a label, there’s no way of knowing for sure.” (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, pg.235). In The Botany Of Desire, Pollan notes that every human culture in recorded history has desired to achieve an altered state of mind. This concept in general was so intriguing and poetic to me that I had to read the book. Change ), This is a text widget, which allows you to add text or HTML to your sidebar. In The Botany Of Desire ‘s final chapter, an organic potato farmer and a Big Ag potato grower are profiled. The Botany Of Desire. But the moment humans discovered what these molecules could do for them, this wholly inadvertent magic, the plants that made them suddenly had a brilliant new way to prosper. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Gardening Books & Gardening Product Reviews, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, Homegrown Tomatoes: The Step-By-Step Guide To Growing Delicious Organic Tomatoes In Your Garden. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan ingeniously demonstrates how people and domesticated plants have formed a similarly reciprocal relationship. An average human comes with a set list of desires, and the natural world is our co-evolutionary friend. I bought In Defense of Food on CD because I’ve been too busy to sit down and read and I’ve already listened to it three times. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. He had no specific intention of harvesting the plants, and grew paranoid at the thought of getting in legal trouble. ''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. None is more original than Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire… ( Log Out /  And from that moment on this is exactly what the plants with the strongest magic did.”. For example, in the marijuana section, Pollan talk A LOT about the experience of … So a plant that produced THC to confuse insects and predators found in humans the means by which to expand its gene pool. – The New York Times "A wry, informed pastoral." “Psychiatrists regard a patient’s indifference to flowers as a symptom of clinical depression. People bred apples until they harvested the firm, hand-held sized, sugary apple that we are able to eat today. Apples, for sweetness; tulips, for beauty; marijuana, for pleasure; and, potatoes, for sustenance. The very first desire that Pollan wrote about was sweetness. “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 Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, we get four stories: the histories of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. Three words that can’t do this little masterpiece justice. by Michael Pollan Random House; 272 pages; S24.95. It is a stunning insight, and no one will come away from this book without having their ideas of nature stretched and challenged. The Botany of Desire deserves a solid 4.5 stars out of 5. Michael Pollan, a professor of journalism and a student of food, presents the history of four plants, each of which found a way to make itself essential to humans, thus ensuring widespread propagation. (Review). Obsessive much? 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. The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. Just when I think there's nothing new to say in a gardening book, publishers have come up with several that are useful or original or both. The four human desires that he chose were sweetness, beauty, intoxication, and control. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Each week we review a film with an environmental theme that’s currently in theaters or available on DVD.Seen a good eco-flick lately? He fears that they are too altered to be safe, but concludes that they are probably nothing quite new. The first edition of the novel was published in 2001, and was written by Michael Pollan. When comparing our desires to the plants or describing his own experiences in his garden, Pollan wrote poetically. I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is intrigued by the human mind, or by maintaining a garden. Hence, artificial selection. Then we meet the organic potato farmer, standing amidst his green fields where his crops grow in dark, loamy soil, his back turned to industrial agriculture. Michael Pollan talked about the history of each plant, and he did so in a long, uninteresting way. “…because my Monsanto and my government had already taken the decision as to whether or not to eat the biotech spud out of my hands. He compared this innate desire of sweetness to the simple apple. Michael Pollan wrote beautifully, made extremely valid points, and explained each plant in depth. EWG's Dirty Dozen Fruits & Vegetables: How many can you grow in your garden? “Unscored and so at least arguably innocent, these poppies are my stand-ins for the cannabis I cannot plant. Botany of Desire Review. This chapter was the most interesting; Pollan uses the drug marijuana as an example of our desire for intoxication. The Botany of Desire is obviously trying to entice people into watching a film about something that sends most people to sleep: agriculture and botany. Pollan takes this idea one step further and explores the impact of human desires on artificial selection. Beyond that, matter begin to get complicated, the honeybees developing their own canons of beauty, the bumblebees theirs.” (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, pg.77). The Botany of Desire reader reviews and comments, and links to write your own review (Page 2 of 2). ( Log Out /  Four plants’ domestication serve as examples: the apple, the tulip, marijuana, and the humble potato. LOL. – 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." Pollan wrote about tulips and tulipomania. At first, Pollan writes of his experience with marijuana. In 1985 Henry Hobhouse published an important and original piece of historical writing … In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. The Botany of Desire is a well made PBS documentary adaptation of Michael Pollan's book discussing humanity's interactions with four different plants-the apple, the potato, the tulip, and marijuana-over the ages. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. ** If you’ve read this far you’re one in a billion! Free download or read online The Botany of Desire: A Plants-Eye View of the World pdf (ePUB) book. Title: The Botany Of Desire, A Plant’s-Eye View Of The World Author: Michael PollanPublisher: Random House, In The Botany Of Desire, Michael Pollan asks, “did we cultivate plants, or did they cultivate us?”. 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. Michael Pollan is arguably our most prominent writer on food policy, most notably In Defense Of Food, Food Rules, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Read 4 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Certain types of tulips were seen as rare and were highly sought after. He writes of Johnny Appleseed dedicating his entire life to spreading the seeds of apples. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-eye View of the World at Amazon.com. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan 306pp, Bloomsbury, £15.99. Throughout this book, I have learned that the biology of a plant is so important in attaining our needs. Pollan understands his own desire for intoxication, feeling the need to fill his garden with a single plant with its own stigma: one that would get him fined. I then went and got a second copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma because I couldn’t wait to get it back from the people who borrowed it before I listen to it again. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. by Michael Pollan ... Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010. With Frances McDormand, Michael Pollan. He writes about his visit with a marijuana grower in Amsterdam, “As I listened to him talk about his work one evening, dilating on the relative benefits of sodium and metal halide lights, the optimal number of clones to plant per kilowatt, and the intricacies of hybridizing indicas and sativas, it dawned on me that this was what the best gardeners of my generation had been doing all these years: they had been underground, perfecting cannabis.” (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, pg.129). 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. The potatoes are called “NewLeafs”, and they produce a chemical that kills off bugs. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible orders. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World at Amazon.com. When it comes down to the root of it and we look past our busy lifestyles, desires are imprinted into our DNA, and most of which can be traced back to a plant which fulfills said desire. New York: Random House. 2001. He writes of his experience with these genetically modified potatoes, and his debate over whether to eat them or not. 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. You can use them to display text, links, images, HTML, or a combination of these. 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. Desire: Sweetness Plant: The Apple (Malus domestica) If you happened to find yourself on the banks of the Ohio River on a particular afternoon in the spring of 1806—somewhere just to the north of Wheeling, West Virginia, say—you would probably have noticed a strange makeshift craft drifting lazily down the … By Michael Pollan. The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan is an intriguing book that focuses on four different human desires and compares each one to a plant. The premise of this book is a beautiful concept: to compare our rather befuddled world to… The last desire that Pollan writes about is control. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Botany of Desire; Science journalist Pollan surveys the coevolution of plants and animals -- particularly humans -- through four examples: apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. When speaking of flowers, he wrote beautifully, “Walk among them and you see their faces turned toward you… beckoning, greeting, informing, promising– meaning. In Michael Pollan’s The Botany of Desire, we get four stories: the histories of apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. 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. Scientifically, all apple trees that produce sweet apples are clones of the perfect hybridized apple. Monsanto is very private with their creations, and warns Pollan that he will be fined if he uses the harvested NewLeaf potatoes to plant another crop. (trust me, I track my readership). Pollan describes Monsanto’s efforts to develop and own a genetically modified potato (NewLeafs) and describes in detail the plethora of chemicals that Big Ag farmers use on their fields to guarantee their crops. The stories range from the true story of … Post was not sent - check your email addresses! He uses the fact that mind-altering plant matter has been present in the creation of many religions as evidence that the stigma against marijuana is a recent idea. In telling the stories of four familiar plant species that are deeply woven into the fabric of our lives, Pollan illustrates how they evolved to satisfy humankinds’s most basic yearnings — and by doing so made themselves indispensable. THE BOTANY OF DESIRE A PLANT’S-EYE VIEW OF THE WORLD. The Botany of Desire. He carefully picked locations for nurseries, planted his apple seeds, and when settlers moved West on their way to the Northwest Territory, they bought his trees in droves. The second desire Pollan chose was beauty. The premise of this book is a beautiful concept: to compare our rather befuddled world to the most natural of things. Whenever this garden has abjured in order to stay on the safe side of the law.” (Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire, pg.177). Most of the book is about human behavior and how it has been influenced by plants. 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. PDF | On May 1, 2005, Amita Sinha published Review of The Botany of Desire | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate The Botany of Desire is the surprise hit of the year! The book does describe some botany (which is very interesting), but in no way is that the majority of the book. No entheogenic plant or fungus ever set out to make molecules for the express purpose of inspiring visions in humans-combating pests is the far more likely motive. The apple made Chapman a wealthy man and the genes of the apple were spread across North America. The Botany of Desire (2009). They were bitter, and mostly used for making hard apple cider. In The Botany Of Desire‘s final chapter, an organic potato farmer and a Big Ag potato grower are profiled. “In the same way the human desire for beauty and sweetness introduced into the world a new survival strategy for the plants that could gratify it, the human hunger for transcendence created new opportunities for another group of plants. Pollan explains the history of the apple at length. Through hundreds of years of hybridizing, humans have bred a Cannabis plant perfectly tuned to “flip the switch” on the reward centers of the brain. The Big Ag farmer is not painted as an evil overlord – just a man resigned to his fate in what has become the noose of corporate agriculture. Reviews "Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as our implication in the natural world." The Happiness Diet: by Tyler Graham and Drew Ramsey, M.D. It’s excellent, fun, and informative. Most of us see the apple as a boring fruit, not tropical nor extremely sweet. ( Log Out /  Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com. 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 biology and a subversive streak that helps him to root out some wonderfully counterintuitive points. Thanks so much for posting this review…Stay Warm!! It is both highly informative and thought-provoking. In The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan argues that the answer lies at the heart of the intimately reciprocal relationship between people and plants. Pollan plants potatoes that contain their own insecticide, made by the infamous company called Monsanto. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Available on DVD. 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