The Root of Wild Madder and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$22.50
Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $2.50 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery, and Lore of the Persian Carpet Hardcover – August 1, 2006


See all 8 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$22.50
$22.50 $17.38


NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Fall Project Resources in Crafts, Hobbies & Home
Preserve fruits and vegetables, redecorate the home, or start a crafts project with help from books in the Fall Inspiration store.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142236805X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422368053
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,906,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Murphy, an AP religion reporter, presents his travels across the zone where Persian carpets are made in a diligent quest to understand them as both art and commodity. He immerses himself in carpet-making culture, accruing trade secrets and learning specialized vocabulary from Afghan and Iranian mentors. Murphy begins his journey in a Tehran bazaar stacked high with carpets before traveling to the ancient weaving center of Herat, in northwestern Afghanistan, arriving weeks after the fall of the Taliban. Visiting Shiraz, he's impressed by the untutored intellect of young illiterate girl weavers. At last he finds himself amid wild madder fields (madder is the source of Persian carpets' characteristic shade of red). Taking in dog fights, gruesome games of polo and disturbing scenes of child labor and poverty, Murphy tactfully emphasizes the warm hospitality, expertise and enterprise of his Iranian and Afghan hosts, providing extended biographies for some of them. His book exudes humility and respect for Islamic culture and a welcome eyewitness account of, and historical information about, a region much in the news. Nevertheless, the writing too often becomes pedestrian and unsatisfying in misguided efforts to be atmospheric. Map not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Murphy clarifies that madder is a plant with a root that is dried and ground into red powder to dye carpets. The precise origin of carpets is not known, but few places have nurtured the craft and artistry of carpets more than Iran. The author, who made frequent trips to Iran and Afghanistan from 1999 to 2004 to research the book, explains the patterns, knots, and origins of carpets and the history of this remote region, describing its hunger, war, hopelessness, and poverty. He tells how the men herd and shear the sheep, the women spin the wool, the men dye the wool, the women weave the carpet, and, finally, the men market the product. Murphy also describes how child labor is used in making the carpets. With eight pages of color photographs, this book is an engaging account of these colorful rugs. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
5 star
13
4 star
4
3 star
3
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 21 customer reviews
There is a spirit to this book reaching out to both the novice and the collector.
William R. Erwin
Rather, it is the story of a man's quest for understanding how Persian culture is represented by the intricacies of their exquisite carpets.
A. Jewell
I rarely read a book more than once BUT this has drawn me to do so because of the rich text and the author's compassion for his subject.
Fred

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 43 people found the following review helpful By William R. Erwin on August 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Nothing quite so enhances a space as an Oriental carpet, however humble or elegant. Carpets may enliven the spirit and mind as well, and here is the enduring significance of their art, never ending. After reading Brian Murphy's journey among them, newly begun, we join him in our own unending adventures.

There is a spirit to this book reaching out to both the novice and the collector. One also learns a lot about Iran and Afghanistan, their culture and history past and present. This book is an essence of Persia. Murphy was himself a novitiate as he takes us with him to meet carpet merchants, weavers, and dyers, urban and rural. He communicates a searching, often wide-eyed, innocence while meeting with myriad folk. He handles this contrast appealingly, rather as if we were with him, a style greatly effectuating what he wants to tell us. I and our carpets together, will never be the same.

This volume is also a welcome relief from the plainness of so many modern publications. The type styles, the look and feel of the paper, and the designs of the jacket, covers, and end papers are an aesthetic delight and most appropriate to the story.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Fred on September 28, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a carpet collector (primarily tribal piece) for well over 20 years; this book spoke to me as some carpets speak to me! I'm especially grateful for the quotes attributed to Hossein Payghambary of Nomad carpet shop in Isfahan. I rarely read a book more than once BUT this has drawn me to do so because of the rich text and the author's compassion for his subject. This is MUST read for anyone with a heart for carpets.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. Clark on April 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
By experiencing Brian Murphy's trip through Afghanistan and Iran and his search for answers to a number of questions he had and developed about the carpets and the people involved in making and selling them, I learned a great deal. I had no idea what I would learn would be so extensive and interesting. It was one of those books that I didn't want to end. Since the chances of my visiting there are slim, I really am thankful to have seen and experienced the people and culture through Murphy's eyes. His love of the rugs and the people are obvious to the reader, and he clearly wants to share what he knows and has experienced with others. I highly recommend reading this book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on October 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I see this book as several books in one. Just like the title 'The Root of Wild Madder' which says nothing at all about rugs, unless you're really in with the right crowd, the book is nominally on rugs. But also the book is also:

on travel to places that most of us don't want to visit, would be afraid to visit

on politics, specifically on what's going on in Iran - he sees the strong theocracy, but he also sees cracks around the base

on history, particularly on Persia

and of course it's about the search for wild madder (the source of red dyes before the advent of chemical dyes).

Above all else, this book is a delight to read. It reads almost like a novel, while it conveys information that would be very, very hard to find elsewhere. It's almost, but not quite, enough to make one want to go to Iran.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Sage on October 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
An enjoyable book, but it's been done before and better in "The Carpet Wars" by Chris Kremmer. Murphy provides some interesting insights into carpet collecting, poetry and mysticism that goes along with the folk-art and aesthetics of carpets, and he does give some historical insight, but his writng style is hackneyed and pedestrian, and his historical and cultural insights are only skin deep, nothing you can't read in an encyclopedia. His attempt at wide eyed innocence and naivete seems contrived, overly sentimental and condescending. I often wondered how such a clueless, myopic, provincial person could become a world travelling, intrpid journalist and stringer for the AP. For a great travlelogue and carpet hunting escapades along with hisotrical and cultural insight read Kremmer's "Carpet Wars". Kremmer knows what he's talking about and we learn much more about the history and culture of the area than Murphy provides. Kremmer goes to more places, while Murphy travels to some of the same places that Kremmer does, but his descriptions aren't as deep. I often wondered if Murphy was conciously following Kremmer to the same places. However, to his credit, Murphy does provide more insights into the history and technique of dying and carpet making than Kremmer.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K. Maxwell on May 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The authors love of Persian carpets is evident on every page of this book and we are presented with his travels around the wilds of Afganistan and Iran in his quest for the meaning and arts behind the beautiful carpets he is so in love with.

I feel I've learnt some interesting things about Persian rugs, their makers and sellers that I didn't know before. You also get a view of modern Afganistan and Iran that isn't peopled soley by religious extremists that the western press would have you believe at times. Things do change over time both for good and ill in the life of a people and that is reflected in the Persian carpets we see in the west.

Despite all these things at times I wanted to stangle the author as he rambles on for pages about the beauty and difficulty of the poetry of the Persion author Hafez and its impact on how you view carpets. In short this is an enjoyable, but frustrating book, that for me just misses the mark as something I would read again.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews