Cloth $30.00 ISBN: 9781780237435 Published August 2017 For sale in North and South America only

Mushrooms

A Natural and Cultural History

Nicholas P. Money

Mushrooms

Nicholas P. Money

Distributed for Reaktion Books

224 pages | 90 color plates, 10 halftones | 6 x 9 1/2
Cloth $30.00 ISBN: 9781780237435 Published August 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Mushrooms hold a peculiar place in our culture: we love them and despise them, fear them and misunderstand them. They can be downright delicious or deadly poisonous, cute as buttons or utterly grotesque. These strange organisms hold great symbolism in our myths and legends. In this book, Nicholas P. Money tells the utterly fascinating story of mushrooms and the ways we have interacted with these fungi throughout history. Whether they have populated the landscapes of fairytales, lent splendid umami to our dishes, or steered us into deep hallucinations, mushrooms have affected humanity from the earliest beginnings of our species.  
           
As Money explains, mushrooms are not self-contained organisms like animals and plants. Rather, they are the fruiting bodies of large—sometimes extremely large—colonies of mycelial threads that spread underground and permeate rotting vegetation. Because these colonies decompose organic matter, they are of extraordinary ecological value and have a huge effect on the health of the environment. From sustaining plant growth and spinning the carbon cycle to causing hay fever and affecting the weather, mushrooms affect just about everything we do. Money tells the stories of the eccentric pioneers of mycology, delights in culinary powerhouses like porcini and morels, and considers the value of medicinal mushrooms. This book takes us on a tour of the cultural and scientific importance of mushrooms, from the enchanted forests of folklore to the role of these fungi in sustaining life on earth.
 
Review Quotes
Eugenia Bone, author of Mycophilia: Revelations From the Weird World of Mushrooms
“Money has done it again! Mushrooms is a masterful overview of mycology, written with clarity, wit, and affection. There simply is no better review of the subject out there. Mycophiles and gardeners–really, anyone who seeks to understand nature in a deeper way—will appreciate this excellent book. I know I do.”
Roland Ennos, University of Hull
“A fascinating tour around the weird world of mushrooms and of the people who study them. As a botanist I learned a lot about the natural world from the different perspective of these familiar yet obscure organisms.”
Richard Fortey FRS, author of Life: An Unauthorised Biography
“A well written, authoritative, and beautifully illustrated account of mushroom life and lore, leavened with humor. An ideal introduction to the most beautiful members of nature’s least understood kingdom.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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