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Slayers, Saviors, Servants and Sex: An Exposé Of Kingdom Fungi: An Expose of Kingdom Fungi Paperback – 4 Oct 2013
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This is a book for the general reader about the world of fungi. We should know more about fungi. They have killed us, saved us and served us since before written records began. We have been making bread, brewing ale, and fermenting wine for millennia. Our crops have been at the mercy of fungal diseases since we became farmers, and they still are. Fungal diseases have caused large demographic changes - from the great plague of 'St. Anthony's Fire' of the Middle Ages (caused by a fungal toxin) to the Irish mass migration to the Americas during the famine (caused by a fungal disease of the potato crop).We can also thank fungi for antibiotics, but do we fully appreciate the revolution in life style (and life expectancy) that these taken-for-granted treatments permit? One of the first people to receive penicillin treatment in England in the 1940s was a policeman in Oxford. He died of septicemia when the supplies of the antibiotic ran out after he had been scratched by a rose thorn.Fungi enabled plants (by a mutualistic combination that persists today) to invade the land during the evolution of life on Earth.Higher fungi are almost unique in their ability to decay the chemical components of timber. Without the wood-rotting fungi we would be up to our eyes in dead trees. Fungi give us the opportunity of treating plant diseases and killing specific weeds, as well as being very useful for cleaning up polluted environments and for producing chemicals. In short, this book will show you why it is wise to look again at fungi and appreciate these extraordinary organisms for what they are: a vital component of our lives and of the Earth's ecosystem.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Amazon.com: 3 reviews
27 February 2011 - Published on Amazon.com
One person found this helpful.
At over $30, do you think I could get photos in color? (I know at least one photo is supposed to be color because the caption refers to color variation.) Old book, and it costs too much! Lower the price or put in the real
photos, not b&w scans!
photos, not b&w scans!
If You Buy One Book on Fungi, This Should Be The One
15 March 2001 - Published on Amazon.com
9 people found this helpful.
As someone who delights in odd facts and has a curiosity about the underpinnings of our natural world, I found Moore's book to be the perfect blend of summary and specific detail, delivered in a relaxed and mischievious style. I've been on a quest for this type of book for a long time, both for personal pleasure and for research for my writing: one that went beyond the basic mushroom guide but that did not stray so far into the area of advanced scientific research that I could not follow it. Moore knows how to strike the right balance between entertainment and science in doling out the facts. I took great delight in chapter titles such as Toxins: Kill the Primates, Rule the World; Blights, Rusts, Bunts, and Mycoses; Decay and Degradation; and The Old Kingdom in Time and Space. Learning, for example, that rabbits can eat some mushrooms humans cannot is an innocuous enough fact--but learning that the Victorian cure for eating poison mushrooms consisted of downing a combination of raw rabbit stomachs and brains mixed with jam...well, that's simply the kind of detail that distinguishes an excellent book from a good book. Perhaps the best thing about the book is Moore's comfort level. He is so comfortable with this material that he revels in it--and this results in numerous corresponding delights for the reader. I have collected over two dozen books on fungi and this one is the best of the lot.
Is that price a typo?
11 March 2003 - Published on Amazon.com
2 people found this helpful.
This is an interestic book for mycophiles, or people just starting to get interested in mushrooms and other fungi. Some of the author's digressions into the dollar amounts of damage to industry blah blah blah get really dull. I did like learning the specific names of the organisms involved in fermentation and diseases. I used this as a source in my magazine The Urban Pantheist. I think the price listed (over seventy dollars when I wrote this) has got to be wrong. My copy cost under ten at another online book site.