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Hardcover, 277 pages.
by Thor Hanson
We live in a world of seeds. From our morning toast to the cotton in our clothes, they are quite literally the stuff and staff of life, supporting diets, economies, and civilizations around the globe. Just as the search for nutmeg and the humble peppercorn drove the Age of Discovery, so did coffee beans help fuel the Enlightenment, cottonseed help spark the Industrial Revolution. And from the Fall of Rome to the Arab Spring, the fate of nations continues to hinge on the seeds of a Middle Eastern grass known as wheat.
In nature and in culture, seeds are fundamental - objects of beauty, evolutionary wonder, and simple fascination. How many times has a child dropped the winged pip of a maple, marveling as it spirals its way down to the ground, or relish the way a gust of wind (or a stout breath) can send a dandelion's feathery flotilla skyward? Yet despite their importance, seeds are often seen as commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to Thor Hansen and this stunning new book, they can be overlooked no more.