Overall I like the book, but the author's undercurrent of anti-capitalism constantly colors the useful information and production journey he takes us on. His asides habitually disparage the very things he marvels at - the innovation and productivity of man's quest for ever more efficient farming and corn processing technologies. His commentary continually criticizes man's thrust for production as an unholistic, and therefore tainted, endeavor, irrespective of the successes. If one can ignore the consistant smarmy parentheticals, the book is a wealth of in depth information on man and corn's life-locked symbiotic relationship. The book shows the history of corn and mankind's domestication of it by selective breeding into a species that is totally dependent upon man to pollinate and sow its life-cycle, and its consequent fruits yielded back to man. The book further goes into the intriguing analysis of how corn has become a feedstock for far more than food, and how without the agricultural innovations developed in the last century, the earth simply could not support more than 1/2 of the population it does today. The above relates mostly to Part One of the book, Part Two I did not find that interesting, even if it was somewhat inspiring, in a kind of starry-eyed, romanticized perspective of holistic farming in general. The latter Part of book did not deal so exclusively with corn but all kinds of ostensibly earth-friendly farming techniques, and how they are superior to industrial farming. But here the author truly outs himself as an advocate of anti-corporatism; this subdued prejudice against industry and capitalism seems to be driven more from a philosophy of holism and ecophilia, rather than from observation of the relative successes of the varying methods of farming. Buy the book for Part One. Part Two is something listen to when you don't have much else to do, and find yourself vegetating w/o other media.
This is a series of witty assertions, and sardonic observations of current events and popular obsessions, cast from the author's down-to-earth populist attitude. The pace at which they come, and the brevity of each treatment, leaves little poetic cadence; the ditties and quips trip over themselves with no consistent verbal beat, a presentation which continually deflates the impact of the point being made. They are also often put in sequence that have a dissonance of topic or conclusion with their neighboring "New Rule"s that it jars the listener's ability to appreciate the author's witty subtleties or implications. Also not working well, are the author's deadpan reading of his own material, with the intonation of computerized text vocalizer, and the consequent flat witticism punchlines that often follow his "New Rule" commentaries. This might work better as a written book, perhaps. Perhaps if taken no more than 5 at a time, the books points of note would not be so tedious, and the quality of the observations could stand out. Basically the form here interferes with the content.
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