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Second Nature (Paperback)
Eight years ago, Harper's Magazine editor Michael Pollan bought an old Connecticut dairy farm. He planted a garden and attempted to follow Thoreau's example: do not impose your will upon the wilderness, the woodchucks, or the weeds. That ethic did not, of course, work. But neither did pesticides or firebombing the woodchuck burrow. So Michael Pollan began to think about the troubled borders between nature and contemporary life.
The result is a funny, profound, and beautifully written book in the finest tradition of American nature writing. It inspires thoughts on the war of the roses; sex and class conflict in the garden; virtuous composting; the American lawn; seed catalogs, and the politics of planting a tree. A blend of meditation, autobiography, and social history, Second Nature is ultimately a modern Walden: a true classic for our time.
"Second Nature is...as delicious a meditation on one man's relationship with the Earth as any you are likely to come upon...."
--The New York Times Book Review
"Usually when Americans have wanted to explore their relationship to nature they've gone to the wilderness, or the woods. Michael Pollan went to the garden instead...and he's returned with a quirky and pleasing book....The debut of a fresh and provocative voice in American writing."
--Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek and An American Childhood
"Superb....One of the distinguished gardening books of our time."
"A joy to read...[Pollan] writes with humor, acerbity, magnanimity...and all those good qualities that lead to charm and--one almost dares say it--wisdom."
--Los Angeles Times