SCIENCES

The Nation of Plants

Other Pr. Mar. 2021. 144p. ISBN 9781635420999. $21.99. NAT HIST
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Both humorous and sobering, the latest book by Mancuso (director, International Laboratory of Plant Neurobiology; The Incredible Journey of Plants) offers relevant insight into the lives of plants and humankind. The book offers an interesting premise: if plants could have a voice on the world stage, what would they say? He maintains that this would not be only a benefit for plants themselves, but for all life on Earth. Plants are adept at cooperating with other living organisms to survive, something that humans can learn from. To make his case, Mancuso gives an imaginary address on behalf of all plants to the United Nations and lists eight articles of their constitution. It sounds whimsical, but several engaging points are provided with historical and scientific examples, backed by footnotes throughout. Just one of the examples and revelations growing from Mancuso’s arguments is that plants have learned to migrate in order to survive, something that humans must do in times of war or famine. The constitution itself will also give readers pause. The book is not just a call to protect the environment, but to help one another.
VERDICT Readers who appreciate slim books packed with a social punch and science anecdotes (prickly pears and lichen are especially interesting) will enjoy this offering. Another recommended, thought-provoking read from Mancuso.

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