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The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World Paperback – May 28, 2002

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,193 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

Apples, tulips, marijuana, and potatoes. This sounds, perhaps, like a Dutch shopping list, but it's really a quick index to the subjects of Pollan's new book. One day, while working in his garden, the author began to wonder how his role as a sower of seeds differed from that of the bumblebee that was pollinating a nearby apple tree; his musings inspired these tales of botanical transformation. Pollan explores the ways in which four common crops have enjoyed and suffered the very best and worst of human intentions: how apples spread westward with American settlers, how the stock of tulips has soared and crashed, how the potency of marijuana has been exalted even as the plants have been miniaturized, and how potatoes have been turned into a cog in the genetic-industrial complex. The result is a wry, informed pastoral.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

Review

“Pollan shines a light on our own nature as well as on 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. His prose both shimmers and snaps, and he has a knack for finding perfect quotes in the oddest places.... Best of all, Pollan really loves plants.”
—The New York Times Book Review

“A wry, informed pastoral.”
—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.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“A whimsical, literary romp through man’s perpetually frustrating and always unpredictable relationship with nature.”
—Los Angeles Times

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Random House Trade Paperbacks (May 28, 2002)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 271 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0375760393
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0375760396
  • Lexile measure ‏ : ‎ 1350L
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 8 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.15 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 1,193 ratings

About the author

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Michael Pollan is the author of seven previous books, including Cooked, Food Rules, In Defense of Food, The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Botany of Desire, all of which were New York Times bestsellers. A longtime contributor to the New York Times Magazine, he also teaches writing at Harvard and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2010, TIME magazine named him one of the one hundred most influential people in the world.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
1,193 global ratings
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Top reviews from other countries

Lady Fancifull
5.0 out of 5 stars Desire for beauty, sustenance, and intoxication - a meditation on plants and man,
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2010
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2017
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TommyMthom
3.0 out of 5 stars This book is very interesting, but does not live ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 9, 2015
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lucy
5.0 out of 5 stars I really loved reading this book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 26, 2016
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Martha Blount
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book - thanks for sending another copy - very good service from this seller - thank you
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 18, 2015
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