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 THE indomitable ginkgo reminds us to take the long view

 Trees such as ginkgo, which connect us to the history of

 our planet, calibrate the speed of environmental change 

 Perhaps the world’s most distinctive tree, ginkgo has remained stubbornly

 unchanged for more than two hundred million years. A living link to the age

 of dinosaurs, it survived the great ice ages as a relic in China, but it earned

 its reprieve when people first found it useful about a thousand years ago.

 Today ginkgo biloba is beloved for the elegance of its leaves, prized for

 its edible nuts, and revered for its longevity.

This engaging book tells the rich and engaging story of a tree that people

saved from extinction—a story that offers hope for other botanical biographies

that are still being written.

Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, renowned botanist Peter Crane explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline, and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration, and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees. Readers of this book will be drawn to the nearest ginkgo, where they can experience firsthand the timeless beauty of the oldest tree on Earth.
"A remarkable book about a remarkable tree that came through from the age of the dinosaurs in one corner of China, and has now repopulated parks and gardens all over the world. An important biography of the ultimate survivor."—Richard Fortey, author of Horseshoe Crabs & Velvet Worms
(Richard Fortey 20121002)

“This engaging book uses Ginkgo as a point of departure to examine a wide range of topics—the history of botanical exploration in China and Japan, as well as plant anatomy, physiology, evolution, extinction, and conservation. . . . It is both scholarly and accessible.”—Scott Wing, Smithsonian Institution
(Scott Wing 20120820)

"Ginkgo takes a place among the best books on plants that I have had the pleasure of reading. It provides an extremely interesting account of a remarkable plant through space, time, and culture."—Peter H. Raven, President Emeritus, Missouri Botanical Garden
(Peter H. Raven 20120821)

"My favorite Ginkgo is the iconic 'over my dead body' in Hibiya Park in Tokyo. Peter Crane’s book will enchant both experts and newcomers to these splendid plants."—Robert M May, University of Oxford
(Robert M May 20121022)

"Peter Crane provides a compelling and definitive portrait of the Tree That Time Forgot: its ancient lineage, its natural history, and history interwoven with eye-opening page turner about the Ginkgo in particular and trees in general. A triumph of beautifully written scholarship."—
Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University
(Thomas E. Lovejoy 20121025)

"The Ginkgo is the elder statesman of the plant world, and Peter Crane’s erudite and fascinating biography is as absorbing as any account of the life of a Churchill or a Lincoln."—Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor, The Independent, London
(Michael McCarthy 20121031)

"An erudite blend of biology, cultural history, and tree lore, this poetic rhapsody to one very ancient but familiar tree is an enthralling sweep across deep time and the post-Linnaean world. A delightful read deserving to become a classic of natural history writing."—Gregory Long, President, The New York Botanical Garden
(Gregory Long 20121031)

"An entertaining introduction to botanical lore."—Kirkus Reviews 
(Kirkus Reviews )

"The Ginkgo tree is widely known but very few people know much about it. Peter Crane's superb new biography of this fascinating tree taps into science, culture, history, and medicine, using a single plant to tell a host of stories. Finally, Ginkgo gets its due."—Kirk Johnson, Sant Director, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
(Kirk Johnson 20130108)

This biography of the ginkgo tree offers a potent mix of science, history, and culture, exploring how plants have changed our lives and our planet. And Peter Crane . . . is the perfect person to tell the tale. . . With its meticulous footnotes, satisfying referencing and gripping narrative, I can see this becoming a commuter’s favorite for scientists and general readers alike. . . Ginkgo will inspire you to know and care for the organisms with which we share this planet in a new way.”—Sandra Knapp, Nature 
(Sandra Knapp Nature )

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Comment by Michael Grove on March 29, 2015 at 8:29

Offering a fresh perspective on immediate presence and embodied spiritual practice, The Four Dignities shows how the mindful cultivation of four everyday activities - walkingstanding, sitting, and lying down - can be used as formal practice to develop greater vitality and spiritual awakening. It reveals the subtle inner nuances of these four types of traditional meditation, and shows how they can be practiced as an inclusive system. Readers are given a profound understanding of correct posture, alignment, breathing, and attention, and the author explains the philosophical basis for the practice, and offers a pathway toward realising profound spiritual and energetic transformation. The book will be an invaluable resource for students and practitioners of yoga, taiji, qigong, and meditation, spiritual seekers, and anyone interested in Eastern philosophy.

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