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The Hidden Half of Nature

The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

David R. Montgomery, Anne Biklé


List Price: 16.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (11/16/2015)
MP3 CD (4/12/2016)


"Sure to become a game-changing guide to the future of good food and healthy landscapes." —Dan Barber, chef and author of The Third Plate

Prepare to set aside what you think you know about yourself and microbes. The Hidden Half of Nature reveals why good health—for people and for plants—depends on Earth’s smallest creatures. Restoring life to their barren yard and recovering from a health crisis, David R. Montgomery and Anne Biklé discover astounding parallels between the botanical world and our own bodies. From garden to gut, they show why cultivating beneficial microbiomes holds the key to transforming agriculture and medicine.

Praise For The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

A great read, opening up for nonscientists the microbial world that underlies all life. You will see your body and the world around you in exciting new ways.
— Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation

Reads like a fast-paced novel but tells the true story of the workings of soils, and even our own bodies.
— Neil Shubin, author of The Universe Within

[A] transformative read.
— Tom Philpott - Mother Jones

[A] beautifully synthesized scientific memoir.
— Barbara Kiser - Nature

Montgomery and Biklé argue that when we farm and when we eat, we’re feeding a diverse community of microorganisms. This book is sure to become a game-changing guide to the future of good food and healthy landscapes.
— Dan Barber, chef and author of The Third Plate

An ingenious idea! The Hidden Half of Nature draws a straight line from the microbes that live in healthy soil to those that live in healthy guts, skillfully blending the personal and the scientific. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with their own health.

— Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist

Amazingly detailed and well-researched. … [The Hidden Half of Nature] lays out the beautiful connection between the microbial garden in our bodies and the microbial garden in the Earth.

— Sally Peterson - Oregon Live

One of the year’s best books on gardens and health.
— Jim McCausland - Sunset Magazine

The Hidden Half of Nature offers a wonderfully fresh and exquisitely informed approach that could change how we relate to ourselves, our diets, our gardens and our world.

— Tim McNulty - Seattle Times

A stunningly clever book that connects the tiny dots of the microbial world. I will never ignore my microbes again.
— Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

A wonderful read! The Hidden Half of Nature not only explores the workings of the microbial world, but also the people and the methods used to advance our knowledge of it.

— Jeff Lowenfels, author of the Teaming With series

W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393353372, 320pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2016

About the Author

David R. Montgomery is a professor of Earth and space sciences at the University of Washington. He studies the evolution of topography and the influence of geomorphological processes on ecological systems and human societies. He received a BS from Stanford University (1984, geology) and a PhD from UC Berkeley (1991, geomorphology). His field studies have included projects in the Philippines, eastern Tibet, South America, California, and the Pacific Northwest of North America. In 2008 Montgomery received a MacArthur Fellowship. His books Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, King of Fish: The Thousand-Year Run of Salmon, and The Rocks Don’t Lie: A Geologist Investigates Noah’s Flood have all won the Washington State Book Award in General Nonfiction. Montgomery’s latest book, Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life, was a finalist for the PEN/E.O. Wilson award for Literary Science Writing. His books have been translated into nine languages.

Anne Biklé is a biologist and environmental planner. Her career spans the fields of environmental stewardship, habitat restoration, and public health. The Hidden Half of Nature is her first book.