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The Botany of Desire Book Review Summary

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. Each allows him to discuss a variety of historical issues and developments. Pollan uses apples as a way to describe grafting, animals' taste for sweetness, and the true man behind the legend of Johnny Appleseed. With tulips, he can study the desire for beauty, periods of mania over tulips in Turkey and Holland, and how flowers helped to make warm-blooded animals possible on Earth.

Marijuana initiates an exploration of plant toxins and poisons, human and animal desire for intoxication, and what the author claims is the foolish U.S. war on drugs. And finally, potatoes serve as a springboard to an examination of plant diseases and pests, genetic manipulation, and man's desire to control nature.
The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus








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Chapter Analysis of The Botany of Desire

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Kind Of History

Time of history:    -   20th century    -   19th century Nationality?    -   American--General History of a science?    -   Yes Kind of science    -   Biology

Subjects of this Historical Account

Is the portrayal sympathetic?    -   Sympathetic

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest    -   California Farm/Ranch:    -   farm    -   lots of descript of crop raising Farms/Ranches?    -   Yes

Writing Style

How much gore?    -   1 () How fast-paced is the book?    -   7 () Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment Book makes you feel...    -   thoughtful How much focus on stories of individuals?    -   Focuses mostly on the people/nation level Is book humorous?    -   Yes If humorous, kind of humor    -   gentle humor Minor characters feature lots of:    -   scientists Pictures/Illustrations?    -   None Length of book    -   201-250 pages How much emphasis on small details?    -   4 ()

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Michael Pollan Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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