But author George Szpiro has a gift for turning the potentially mind-numbing into a historical journey-from Holland's tulip craze
of the 1630s to Paris Bourse of the late 1800s and beyond.
In the free-market form of capitalism, the job of the state is to "enable" capitalism's success by enforcing contracts, as well as by limiting the influence of moral "bads" (such as greed) that can lead to market failures--something that has been occurring at least since the Dutch tulip craze
The next piece, Tulipomania refers to what Allen Greenspan dubbed "irrational exuberance" during the housing boom leading to the burst of the bubble and the calamity of the Great Recession of 2008, not unlike the tulip craze
that took place in 17th century Holland.
Drawing prismatic connections between Kazakstan and Johnny Apple-seed, the Dutch tulip craze
and stock market speculation, cannabinoid receptors and a very stoned Carl Sagan, Pollan says things like "the existential heft of a tomato," and you know what he means.
She has an excellent poem, "Tulpenwoede," about the 17th-century tulip craze
that ended in economic disaster, yet she's willing to indulge such madness since beauty can unfold, indeed is sometimes caused by, the "diseased ground" from which it is nurtured.
As far as the cost of flowers go, the carloads I purchase are virtually free when compared to what people spent during the great Dutch tulip craze of 1593-1637.
His description of the financial havoc that occurred during the later phases of the tulip craze are nearly as vivid as the flowers themselves.