David McCullough deserves the highest compliment that can be given to a biographer. He has made his subject come alive. I cried when Abagail died and again when John Adams died at the end of the book. It is as if I had lost a friend. But it is even more than a personal story. In this book John Adams becomes a window into the formation of the United States. All the major events and persons of those formative times are crystalized around the figure of Adams. The book could easily serve as an entire course of revolutionary American history.
This is not a book for plant lovers who enjoy celebrating nature by reading sympathetic and personal relationships with flora such as the works of Michael Pollan or "Weeds" by Richard Mabey. It is simply a compilation of brief descriptions of plants that are harmful to people, their economy or pets. The personal and social notes accompanying the often scary facts appear to be more in service of accentuating the shock value than in in elucidating the natural or social history of the plant in question.
On the other hand, It does cover a wide range of plants throughout the word and provides the botanical names for each species, which is very useful if you want to seek more information about the plant. After listening to the audiobook I ordered a hard copy as a reference book, but it's not on my night table.
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