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Oranges by John McPhee

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With a foreword by Richard Mabey

In Penn Station was a machine that split and squeezed oranges. They rolled down a chute and were pressed against a blade. Then the two halves went in separate directions to be cupped and crunched. The juice fell into a pitcher. You paid dearly for it.

Inspired by the glass of freshly-squeezed juice he bought every day on his morning commute, Pulitzer Prize-winner John McPhee takes us on an idiosyncratic and re­markable journey in search of the world’s most popular fruit.

With his trademark style and enchanting wit, he unravels the rich history and fas­cinating cultivation of this botanical marvel. Beginning with the fruit’s origins in Southeast Asia, McPhee travels from the great orangeries be­longing to Louis XIV, to the shores of Andalucia, and through the endless groves in Florida. Along the way he introduces the people whose live­lihood depends on the world’s insatiable demand for the fruit: orange pickers, a citrus scientist, and an orange baron worth over $20 million.

In his inimitable and endlessly compelling prose, McPhee reveals the story behind this extraordinary fruit. Your morning glass of juice will never be the same.

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