In his articles and in best-selling books such as The Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan has established himself as one of our most important and beloved writers on modern man’s place in the natural world. A new literary classic, Second Nature has become a manifesto not just for gardeners but for environmentalists everywhere. As delicious a meditation on one man’s relationships with the Earth as any you are likely to come upon” (The New York Times Book Review), Second Nature captures the rhythms of our everyday engagement with the outdoors in all its glory and exasperation. With chapters ranging from a reconsideration of the Great American Lawn, a dispatch from one man’s war with a woodchuck, to an essay about the sexual politics of roses, Pollan has created a passionate and eloquent argument for reconceiving our relationship with nature.
A fresh exploration of gardens and what it means to garden.
By A Customer - November 24, 1996
Many of us fall into the trap of thinking that our relationship to the land must be one of either two choices: either we ruthlessly exploit it, with no regard for any but short term use, or we refuse to "meddle" in it at all, letting nature do what it will. _Second Nature_ explores the third alternative, that of working with nature respectfully to produce something that we intend. Believing that our relationship with nature can not be broken down into simple nature versus culture arguments, Pollan explores the overlapping of nature and culture. To that end, he discusses Americans' historical and contemporary ideas of what makes a garden a garden and attitudes toward gardening and wilderness. There is wonderful, thought-provoking commentary on the tyranny of the American lawn, the sexuality of roses, class conflict in the garden, privacy, trees, weeds, and what it means to have a green thumb. Pollan's stories of his own adventures in the garden are interesting and... read more
What a fun book!
By A Customer - March 14, 2000
I read this book for a college course, "Religion, Ethics, and the Environment." Most of the books were (as the course title suggests) very heavy texts...yawn. However, when assignments from Pollan's book came up, I would laugh out loud while reading. My classmates & I would discuss the book at any given opportunity, and the bookstore sold twice as many copies as there were students in the class, because we recommended it to everyone. How many philosophy books can you say that about?Pollan makes his philosophical points with vivid stories from his childhood on Long Island and his adult experiences in his garden. His garden-centered view of nature provides an excellent counterpoint to most environmental philosophy, which has been written from a preservationist's point of view.
What to Buy a Gardener during the Winter
By elanorh "secondseven" - December 5, 2005
I really enjoyed this book. I grew up in a family which gardens, and have my own garden today. I also grew up in an agrarian family, and went on to get a master's in cultural anthropology - all that to say, I suppose I am well-suited to enjoy Pollan's perspectives.
I don't agree with everything he wrote, but I do agree with most of it. And the book is very well-written, very entertaining, and it really makes the reader pause to consider choices made in their own life.
So much of the information about gardening is "how-to", and this book delves into the philosophy, the motivations, the rationales, and the environmental impacts of gardening .... It's written on a higher level, and as worthwhile for readers as the "how to" books, too.
I highly recommned this book - for those who enjoy gardening, and also for those who are concerned about the environment. Pollan will be a good read for both.
I absolutely disagree with the previous reviewer... read more
Chile peppers are hot -- in every sense of the word. They add culinary fire to thousands of dishes from a variety of cuisines and inspire near-fanatical devotion in those who have succumbed to their ...