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The triumph of seeds how grains, nuts, kernels, pulses, & pips, conquered the plant kingdom and shaped human history Thor Hanson

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Hanson, Thor  Search this
Physical description:
xxv, 277 pages illustrations 22 cm
Narrative non-fiction
Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association, 2016
BOT copy purchased with Adopt-a-Book funds
Preface: "Heed!" -- Introduction: The fierce energy -- Seed for a day -- The staff of life -- Sometimes you feel like a nut -- What the spike moss knows -- Mendel's spores -- Methuselah -- Take it to the bank -- By tooth, beak, and gnaw -- The riches of taste -- The cheeriest beans -- Death by umbrella -- Irresistible flesh -- By wind and wave -- The future of seeds -- Appendix A: Common and scientific names -- Appendix B: Seed conservation
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, and 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 relished 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 a commonplace, their extraordinary natural and human histories overlooked. Thanks to Thor Hanson and this new book, they can be overlooked no more
Seeds  Search this
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Getreide  Search this
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Smithsonian Libraries