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The Botany of Desire

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Language  English
Author  Michael Pollan
Followed by  The Omnivore's Dilemma


Originally published  2001
Publisher  Random House
Genres  Mathematics, Non-fiction
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Preceded by  A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder
Similar  Michael Pollan books, Nature books, Plant books

Michael pollan cannabis the importance of forgetting and the botany of desire


The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. 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 tulip, beauty; marijuana, intoxication; the apple, sweetness; and the potato, control.

Contents

The stories range from the true story of Johnny Appleseed to Pollan's first-hand research with sophisticated marijuana hybrids in Amsterdam to the paradigm-shifting possibilities of genetically engineered potatoes. Pollan also discusses the limitations of monoculture agriculture: specifically, the adoption in Ireland of a single breed of potato (the Lumper) made the Irish vulnerable to a fungus to which it had no resistance, resulting in the Irish Potato Famine. The Peruvians from whom the Irish had gotten the potato grew hundreds of varieties, so their exposure to any given pest was slight.

On television

The book was used as the basis for The Botany of Desire, a two-hour program broadcast by PBS.

Publication data

  • Michael Pollan, The Botany of Desire (2001) Random House, hardcover: ISBN 0-375-50129-0, 2002 paperback: ISBN 0-375-76039-3
  • References

    The Botany of Desire Wikipedia


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