Edition: 2024
Pages: 192
Series: IR/L
ISBN: 9788858140680

The Plan(t) of the World

Stefano Mancuso


Other Press (US English); Albin Michel (France); Profile (UK English); Galaxia Gutenberg (Spanish); UBU (Portuguese in Brazil); Cosse (Dutch); Alfa (Turkish); Duku (Chinese Simpl.); Bertrand (Portuguese in Portugal); Klett Cotta (German)



It all begins and ends with plants. From the chance to live on this planet to the pleasure of listening to the voice of a violin: every story begins with a plant. Every story begins with a plant.

There is no getting around it. We animals account for a paltry 0.3% of the planet’s biomass while plants add up to 85%. It is obvious, therefore, that every story on this planet has a plant as its protagonist. Our world is a green world; Earth is the planet of plants. And when, with just a little training, we are able to look at the world without seeing it solely as humanity’s playground, we cannot help but notice the ubiquity of plants. They are everywhere and their stories are inevitably wound up with ours. As every tree in a forest is linked to all the others by an underground network of roots, uniting them to form a super organism, so plants constitute the nervous system, the plan that is the “greenprint” of our world. Not to see this plan, or even worse, to ignore its existence, is one of the most serious threats to the survival of our species. The brilliant neurobiologist Stefano Mancuso is back with a great book to tell us about the greenprint of our world. He does it through unforgettable stories starring plants (and it couldn’t be otherwise); stories combining an inimitable narrative style and remarkable scientific rigor. From the story of the red spruce that gave Stradivarius the wood for his 14 violins, to the Kauri tree-stump, kept alive for decades by the interconnected root system of other trees living nearby. From the story of the slipperiness of the banana skin to the plant that solved the “crime of the century” (the kidnapping and murder of the infant son of the celebrated aviator Charles Lindbergh). In that case, in fact, for the first time in history, botanical tests and analyses led to the identification of the perpetrator of the crime and were admitted as evidence at the trial. The kidnapper was betrayed by the rungs of a wooden ladder.

The author

Stefano Mancuso

Stefano Mancuso is one of the world’s leading authorities in the field of plant neurobiology, which explores signaling and communication at all levels of biological organization. He is a professor at the University of Florence and has published more than 250 scientific papers in international journals. His previous books The Nation of Plants, The Incredible Journey of Plants, Planting our world are all bestsellers and they’re translted in more than 20 countries

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