Logan, a columnist for The New York Times, combines science and philosophy with a quirky curiosity about why the universe works the way it does to create this beautifully written celebration of the birth, death, and regeneration of the soil and the human connection to it.
In these brief, elegant essays, the author raises the concept of dirt to new levels. Logan looks at soil formation and development. His topics range from quarries and the foundations of cathedrals to graveyards and earthworms, from husbandry in ancient Rome to composting in Florida. Logan pays tribute to the dung beetle as a symbol of renewal; he notes that dirt is the source of many drugs that work against infectious diseases (penicillin, streptomycin). He discusses the many forms of clay and the agricultural practices of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and the Iroquois. Dirt is a natural history of the soil and our connection with it. –Publishers Weekly
Whether Logan is traversing the far reaches of the cosmos or plowing through our planet’s crust, his delightful, elegant, and surprisingly soulful meditations greatly enrich our concept of “dirt,” that substance from which we all arise and to which we all must return.
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