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The Hidden Half of Nature Audiobook

The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

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Publisher's Summary

A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves - and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health - for people and for plants - depends on Earth's smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.

When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life's master strategy for defense and health.

They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut.

We are not what we eat. We are all - for better or worse - the products of what our microbes eat. This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: By cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine - by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.

©2016 David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (91 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Susan 04-23-16
    Susan 04-23-16 Member Since 2016
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    "It's OK"

    Here is another book about the value of natural gardening filled with fun facts and insightful ideas regarding nutrition and the evils of factory farming.

    The books tone is somewhat marred by the narrators overly incredulous expression. His voice also runs cynical on occasion. In short he is an annoying narrator. The book appears to be written by husband-and-wife however the narrator never makes it clear who is doing which writing.

    Regarding the writing, it's OK,not great. The male writer has a condescending manner, something along the lines of, "can you believe my crazy wife was really right about organic compost! "

    That's just plain silly. Anybody reading this book is already convinced that organic gardening is a good thing. Nevertheless and in spite of everything I've complained about it's a pretty good story.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann Scott Jobe 03-23-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Probably the secret to most of our chronic disease"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes- I believe most people will benefit from realizing what big business agriculture has done to us as a result of industrialization on a massive scale in the 20th Century and that there is something that can be done about it in the backyard


    What other book might you compare The Hidden Half of Nature to and why?

    The One Straw Revolution is a book that discusses no till farming and not putting chemical industry fertilizers in soil written by a Japanese Soil Scientist - Masanobu Fukuoka


    Have you listened to any of LJ Ganser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes that would have been nice but not practical


    Any additional comments?

    Important that we begin to educate ourselves to improve our health and step away from industrialized healthcare and agriculture and this would also help our climate because it would restore the natural cycle

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kelli 01-26-16
    Kelli 01-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Do not pass this up!"

    So good. And the narrator LJ Ganser did a fantastic job. Some personal story, a lot of history and a lot of science. it was fantastic!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marie Veerkamp Cool, CA USA 05-13-16
    Marie Veerkamp Cool, CA USA 05-13-16 Member Since 2014

    KitzKamp

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    "All things really are connected!"

    I have been a student of the soil food web concepts for the past five years and ecologist in-training nearly all my life. This was a most interesting and attention-holding book. Very eye-opening!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Kalish Phoenix, Arizona USA 02-14-16
    Pamela Kalish Phoenix, Arizona USA 02-14-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Very good book on this subject!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I have recommended it already to many folks. It is a very understandable book on this subject.. I think I will try composting and stick to the Paleo diet I converted to after reading "Grain Brain". Very convincing.


    What other book might you compare The Hidden Half of Nature to and why?

    Daniel Permutter's books like "Grain Brain" etc., "Missing Microbes" and many, many more....One of my favorite subjects.


    What about LJ Ganser’s performance did you like?

    He holds your attention especially while running. He is one of my favorite narrators. Loved his narration of Matt Ridley's "The Rational Optimist".


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    his description of the intestinal tract.


    Any additional comments?

    I love audio books. They have changed my life...

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Pelletier Niagara Ontario 09-27-16
    D. Pelletier Niagara Ontario 09-27-16 Member Since 2016

    OtherUser76767

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    "Interesting and informative"

    Great information about nutrition minerals and beneficial bacteria but this book was not about introducing beneficial bacteria to the soil or compost tea.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jorge Catalan Chavez San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico 09-21-16
    Jorge Catalan Chavez San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico 09-21-16 Member Since 2016
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    "How little we know"

    Rediscovering the world of bacterial life and the useless war we humans have been fighting and how futile and against our own benefit this effort is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tony DeVeyra 08-21-16 Member Since 2014
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    "great insights into the microverse"

    a lot of wisdom and knowledge about how we need to use not abuse our microbes!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Bird 08-01-16
    N. Bird 08-01-16
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    "very interesting read"

    While this book is at times redundant it is really a very interesting read if you can get past that. I've been hearing a lot in the news about our micro biomes and the little probiotics and things that determine our health more than we ever realized. This book gives you a full picture of all the different ways they affect us our food our health and the land around us.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn 07-11-16
    Kathryn 07-11-16
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    "Excellent book!"

    Everything from the content to the narration was excellent. A joy to listen too and very educational.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • David B
    3/2/16
    Overall
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    "An excellent read (listen!)"
    Any additional comments?

    An excellent book that should be compulsary reading for our politicians,
    My only slight gripe is that the audiobook was read by a man, and it was confusing who actually was writing the chapter. Perhaps would have been better if the chapters were introduced by 'David' or 'Anne'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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