Botany of Desire is a fascinating early book of Michael Pollan. He examines 4 crops (apples, tulips, marijuana and potatoes) and their relationship to human desires (for drinking, beauty, mind-bending and sustenance).
I'm almost done with the book. Overall, I found it extremely interesting. Indeed, throughout most of it I was left wondering: Are the plants controlling us? Or are we controlling the plants? I mean, our fascination with them has all but guaranteed the survival, and proliferation, of their species, which is all they really want. Are they playing us? Not to mention he knocks Johnny Appleseed off his folk-hero pedestal (Those apples were for hard cider. And he was, as an adult, engaged to a child.), points out that the favorites in the Tulip Craze were really diseased flowers (A fungus would cause crazy coloration. Propagating these flowers would just spread the evil fungus), notes that via selective breeding man has made marijuana perfectly suited to indoor growing (...by crossing two plants) and....well...I haven't finished the potato chapter yet.
I would imagine the collaboration of Michael Pollan & PBS would lead to an extremely well-done documentary. In the DC area it's on MPT at 8pm tonight!