This is a great history of the development and spread of tulips and a great description of the tulip bubble that economists love to cite in economic classes frequently. This is not necessarily a book that someone not interested in the tulip bubble would enjoy but for those curious about the tulip bubble, it provides great insight into what happened before, during and after the craze.
Fascinating history of the tulip -- from the Ottoman Empire to Holland and back. Greed is amazing. The book also touches on a couple other greed induced manias surrounding flowers. Who knew?
A very interesting book. Backs research up with footnotes and a bibliography.
The history of the Dutch tulip craze. The author goes back to the origins of the tulip (well, back to the wild tulip. The origins of the wild tulip are a bit beyond the scope) and follows its path to Europe and then back as the craze hits the Islamic world after Europe.
He does an excellent job at explaining how bubbles form. I was trained as an economist and this is one of the better presentations I've seen--how does something no one wants become salable (such as baskets of common tulips)? Something that looks insane (and was) is taken one step at at time--and each step makes sense based on the previous one, but they add up to insanity. He also discusses cultural things (such as limited difference in dress among different Dutch classes and the habit of saving and gambling) that made it a prime location for the bubble to form.
I didn't know the tulips in question were actually diseased and more multi-colored than modern tulips. That was a fascinating bit of botany. It also explains why the tulip on the front cover doesn't look like any I've ever seen.
I also appreciate the fact that, while the book focused on the Dutch craze (it being the big one) he brought into the story the Islamic side as well, since the tulip came from there and was highly regarded before it went to Europe and afterwards there was a small craze there. Seeing how it fell in and out of favor depending on who was in charge of the Empire brought extra depth to the story of the tulip, and made it the tulip's story and not just the Dutch tulip story.
Interesting read, and smoothly written.