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In 1986, the author bought a small overgrown olive farm in Provence. With it, he discovered, were 150 neglected olive trees. His neighbours helped him bring his grove back to life - and with it a passion grew in him to discover all there was to know about the olive.After rice, corn, and wheat--the three staples of, respectively, East Asia, the Americas, and Eurasia--the olive is the foodstuff most closely bound to history, shaping the course of nations and empires. Mort Rosenblum, the author of the lively Secret Life of the Seine and many other books, gives us a wide-angle, altogether engrossing account of the olive's life and natural history, studding his narrative with conversations with farmers all around the Mediterranean. Rosenblum predicts an upsurge in olive cultivation in the United States as more and more people become aware of the fruit's many healthful qualities. If you have the urge to take up farming, read this fine book--you may be moved to put in some olive trees and try your luck.