The History Guy – Dandelions and Civilization

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit.

The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs." --San Antonio Express-News

A evening pause: Some forgotten history worth learning. Might even make you want to try the plant in your next salad.

Hat tip Tom Biggar.


My July fund-raiser for Behind the Black is now over. The support from my readers was unprecedented, making this July campaign the best ever, twice over. What a marvelous way to celebrate the website's tenth anniversary!

Thank you! The number of donations in July, and continuing now at the beginning of August, is too many for me to thank you all personally. Please forgive me by accepting my thank you here, in public, on the website.

If you did not donate or subscribe in July and still wish to, note that the tip jar remains available year round.


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  • Col Beausabre

    I think I’m gonna become a dandelion farmer – I mean any plant that thrives on neglect is for me !

    The History Guy is a great site and addresses I multitude of historical topics

  • pzatchok

    When they get large they get a bitter taste to the leaves.
    Get them young and small and they taste fine.

    I actually once spent a week only eating what I could find in my local city park.
    Fishing is legal though selection is a bit limited. Carp and crayfish.
    Dandelions every day. Only tried three different greens.
    Only two berry varieties available.
    Mushrooms were everyplace.(still harvest and eat those)
    If I could have hunted I would have been king. Deer to squirrels.

    Found out I would never starve.

  • john hare


    You might still starve if there were a famine and millions of people were doing as you were. Hunting and gathering doesn’t tend to high population density.

  • Phill O

    One aspect not covered is the nectar source available to the lowly honey bee.

    I am reminded that I grabbed my honey and necked her!

    Seriously, in cattle country of western Canada, honey bees build up faster (large amounts of dandelion) than areas where no forage crops are grown, like Manitoba’s Red River valley.

    Dandelion honey is golden, resembling sunflower honey. There is a very slight tang that most folk will not notice. Certainly much milder than the tangs from desert honey.

    I produced no commercial dandelion honey, preferring to let the bees use it for increasing hive number. During the “dandelion flow” I would split colonies, introducing new queens in all colonies. Time consuming while doing it, but time saving later throughout the year, including wintering and preparing for winter. My hive numbers doubled each year, partly due to the dandelion flow.

    Yes, the dandelion WAS my favorite flower.

  • just a thought

    lol – incredibly thorough presentation.

    It’s a variety of Chicory, although probably the healthiest. The leaves are an excellent liver tonic. I eat them cooked, when I can get them. They are difficult to grow in Florida, but other Chicories have similar properties, though not as potent.

    There is even a “rubber dandelion” that, yes, has actual rubber latex, and is being grown for tire and other rubber production. It’s probably not as good an edible as other varieties.

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