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Publisher's Summary

A riveting exploration of how microbes are transforming the way we see nature and ourselves - and could revolutionize agriculture and medicine.
Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. Good health - for people and for plants - depends on Earth's smallest creatures. The Hidden Half of Nature tells the story of our tangled relationship with microbes and their potential to revolutionize agriculture and medicine, from garden to gut.
When David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé decide to restore life into their barren yard by creating a garden, dead dirt threatens their dream. As a cure, they feed their soil a steady diet of organic matter. The results impress them. In short order, the much-maligned microbes transform their bleak yard into a flourishing Eden. Beneath their feet, beneficial microbes and plant roots continuously exchange a vast array of essential compounds. The authors soon learn that this miniaturized commerce is central to botanical life's master strategy for defense and health.
They are abruptly plunged further into investigating microbes when Biklé is diagnosed with cancer. Here, they discover an unsettling truth. An armada of bacteria (our microbiome) sails the seas of our gut, enabling our immune system to sort microbial friends from foes. But when our gut microbiome goes awry, our health can go with it. The authors also discover startling insights into the similarities between plant roots and the human gut.
We are not what we eat. We are all - for better or worse - the products of what our microbes eat. This leads to a radical reconceptualization of our relationship to the natural world: By cultivating beneficial microbes, we can rebuild soil fertility and help turn back the modern plague of chronic diseases. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how to transform agriculture and medicine - by merging the mind of an ecologist with the care of a gardener and the skill of a doctor.
©2016 David R. Montgomery and Anne Bikle (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Kelli on 01-26-16

Do not pass this up!

So good. And the narrator LJ Ganser did a fantastic job. Some personal story, a lot of history and a lot of science. it was fantastic!

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful


By Ann Scott Jobe on 03-23-16

Probably the secret to most of our chronic disease

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes- I believe most people will benefit from realizing what big business agriculture has done to us as a result of industrialization on a massive scale in the 20th Century and that there is something that can be done about it in the backyard

What other book might you compare The Hidden Half of Nature to and why?

The One Straw Revolution is a book that discusses no till farming and not putting chemical industry fertilizers in soil written by a Japanese Soil Scientist - Masanobu Fukuoka

Have you listened to any of LJ Ganser’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes that would have been nice but not practical

Any additional comments?

Important that we begin to educate ourselves to improve our health and step away from industrialized healthcare and agriculture and this would also help our climate because it would restore the natural cycle

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David B on 03-02-16

An excellent read (listen!)

Any additional comments?

An excellent book that should be compulsary reading for our politicians,<br/>My only slight gripe is that the audiobook was read by a man, and it was confusing who actually was writing the chapter. Perhaps would have been better if the chapters were introduced by 'David' or 'Anne'.

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