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Pappalardo's unexpected and highly entertaining social history of this scandalous flower stretches from the Stone Age to the Space Age, from its healing role in Hopi tribal rituals to its covert involvement in the Cold War.

Hardcover: 256 pages

Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (March 13, 2008)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1585679917

ISBN-13: 978-1585679911

Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches

Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #1,358,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #50 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Annuals #66 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Wild Plants #2146 in Books > Science & Math > Biological Sciences > Botany

I read this book on a long flight and could not put it down! Who would of thought a book about flowers would be filled with so much history and drama?! From Native Americans to Peter the Great, from Italian oil empires to Wisconsin festivals, this book makes you appreciate the impact the flower has had on humankind from prehistoric times. Another interesting aspect of the book is the perspective of the botanists studying it as a natural hybridizer. The science part of this book is full of intrigue. The economic and political impact of sunflower oil as a commodity is also interesting. The question becomes, "why aren't we planting sunflowers any where in the world people are hungry?" A truly fascinating read!

I was really excited to buy this book. I began reading it and learned some interesting facts about sunflowers. This book is more academic than fun reading! The picture in the front is a bit deceiving. If you are into books about research and lots of details you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for a light read, this is not the book for you!

This book is a relatively narrow academic discourse on sunflower history intended for those who already have a good knowledge of the sunflower plant. As a general reader, this book did not hold my interest very well. The author has done his homework quite well and does incorporate some interesting human encounters, but the perpetual name dropping of obscure researchers and their penchant for publications is distracting. Another issue probably not a fault of the author is the poor, black-and-white quality of the photography for something as colorful as a sunflower is disappointing.

The theme my granddaughter wanted for Christmas was anything sunflower. I found this book and since she loves history she was so excited. The book was great and the service was wonderful. It is so nice not to have to pay shipping.

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