Seeds, Sex and Civilization: How the Hidden Life of Plants has Shaped Our World

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9780500251706: Seeds, Sex and Civilization: How the Hidden Life of Plants has Shaped Our World
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In this absorbing history, Peter Thompson explores how mankind has gradually learned what seeds are, where they come from and their role in the survival of the productivity of crops and wildflowers. Thompson brings to life the eccentrics, explorers, amateurs and highly dedicated professionals who have accumulated our knowledge. Some are well known, such as Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel; others, like the Russian geneticist Nikolai Vivilov, are less so. The book concludes with a chapter by Stephen Harris on current debates about genetically modified crops, seed conservation and plant ownership in the contemporary world.

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'... even Gregor Mendel, steward of botanical genetics, has never been so fully delivered as a person ... a tale of Eden and our unending attempts to win it back' --Scottish Sunday Herald

''Admirable' --The Times Higher Education Supplement

'For anyone who is interested in plants, gardening, the environment or, indeed, the world in which we live, Seeds, Sex and Civilization is a rare treat' --Book Group info

'A vital contribution to the future of our species' --The Independent

'Highly readable'
--Gardens Illustrated

'Once started, this book is impossible to put down' --Garden

'The science book of the year, with an insight on every page, a purringly robust prose style and informing vision that brings together wild nature and human culture in an utterly convincing and compelling narrative'
--The Tablet

`A very comprehensive and readable account ... a very informative read for agriculturalists, crop managers and environmentalists generally'
--The Naturalist

'Sweeping and elegiac'
--The Times Literary Supplement

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