Plants, People, and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany (Scientific American Library)

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9780716750611: Plants, People, and Culture: The Science of Ethnobotany (Scientific American Library)

Ethnobotanists Cox and Balick share two decades of experience living with the indigenous peoples of Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia, conducting fieldwork in the study of how people use plants. The result of their efforts details a story of human culture in relationship to the plants they have traditionally used for medicinal, recreational, and ornamental purposes. This legacy continues today in the form of pharmacology research, aided by the fields of anthropology and botany. The authors' cautionary admonition against the destruction of native communities and environments draws authority from their scientific, but passionate engagement with the subject. Includes color photographs and illustrations. Distributed by Freeman. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

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About the Author:

Michael J. Balick is Philecology Curator of Economic Botany and Director of the Institute of Economic Botany of The New York Botanical Garden.

Review:

Balick and Cox have combined their own ethnobotanical expertise with documented accounts to produce a beautifully illustrated introduction to this increasingly popular topic. The final book is not only readable and fascinating, but also thought-provoking and ultimately moving. -- The Geographical Journal, 3/98

This is a fascinating integration of chemistry, botany, anthropology, history and ecology...This is an inspiring book that deserves to be read by anyone interested in conservation, ethnomedicine, and indigenous peoples. -- Kliatt, January, 1998

Two leading ethnobotanists argue that human cultural origins are woven with plants: examining the prehistoric use and gathering of plants by hunter-gatherers to modern times, this examines important connections between indigenous peoples' development and concurrent plant discoveries. -- Midwest Book Review

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