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Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations Format Kindle
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
Nicely illustrated with drawings from the periods under discussion but I wish the publisher had been generous enough to allow the author to add photos, maps, graphs, timelines, to make the visions the story evokes more concrete and accurate.
A good book to give a gardener, a plant ecologist (like me -- and I wish I'd had a course built around this book when I was in school!), a farmer, a cook, and I only wish that every lawmaker and ag-associated bureaucrat could be made to read it.
Rhonda of the Mountain
As well as being informative, _Dirt_ contains some of the most effective writing I've read in years, and I say that as someone who teaches academic writing. While this book contains a good many unpleasant truths, Montgomery's highly readable prose encouraged me to turn pages. For example, Montgomery's use of vivid images removes the dry abstraction from statistical information. This is from page four: "Each year, America's farms shed enough soil to fill a pickup truck for every family in the country. . . . An estimated twenty-four billion tons of soil are lost annually around the world--several tons for each person on the planet." He also captures complex generalities in concise, direct language. Here, he's talking about the effect of a growing population on late Medieval Europe: "An increasing demand for crops meant less pasture, little overwinter animal fodder, and not enough manure to sustain soil fertility" (93).
Page after page, across time and continents, Montgomery documents mankind's devastating use and misuse of dirt. Even his plain, slightly vulgar title is beautifully chosen. He more than proves that dirt, far from being cheap, is more precious than gold. I'm tempted to say the same about _Dirt_.
From another perspective: Never before have I appreciated the "humble" earthworm so much as I have since reading it. I never knew about rock weathering and the fact that earthworms literally create soil from rocks. We should bow down to earthworms. They make it possible for us to eat and live.
The writing style is easily read. Yet emotionally, I find it hard to read more than one chapter at a time. I seem to need rest between them. They are very filling.
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