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American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us about Who We Areby Wade Graham
Synopses & Reviews
From Frederick Law Olmsted to Richard Neutra, Michelle Obama to our neighbors, Americans throughout history have revealed themselves in the gardens they create. Melding biography, history, and cultural commentary, American Eden presents a dynamic, sweeping, one-of-a-kind look at this country's landscapes and the visionaries behind them.
Monticello's gardens helped Jefferson reconcile his feelings about slavery. Edith Wharton's gardens made her feel more European. Isamu Noguchi's and Robert Smithson's experiments reinvigorated the age-old exchange between art and the garden. Manhattan's High Line park, reclaimed from freight train tracks, reimagined an urban landscape.
Moving deftly through time and place across America's diverse landscapes—from Revolutionary-era Virginia to turn-of-the-century Chicago to 1960s suburban California—and featuring an equally diverse cast of landscape-makers, whether artists, architects, housewives, robber barons, politicians, or dreamers, Wade Graham vividly unfolds the larger cultural history through more personal dramas.
Beautifully illustrated, American Eden is at once a different kind of garden book and a different kind of American history, one that offers a compelling, untold story that mirrors and illuminates our nation's invention—and constant reinvention—of itself.
“American Eden moves luminously through landscapes of history, literature, biography, and design theory. . . . fusing sharp-edged analysis and graceful American prose.” —Kevin Starr, author of Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge
“Informative and absolutely engrossing.” —Ross King, author of Brunelleschi's Dome
Garden designer and historian Wade Graham offers a unique vision of the story of America in this riveting exploration of the nations gardens and the visionaries behind them, from Thomas Thomas Jeffersons Monticello to Michelle Obamas vegetable garden, Fredrick Law Olmsteds expansive Central Park to Martha Stewarts how-to landscaping guides. In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky, Simon Schama, and Michael Pollan, Graham delivers a sweeping social history that examines our nations history from an overlooked vantage point, illuminating anew the living drama of American self-creation.
About the Author
Wade Graham is a Los Angeles-based garden designer, historian,and writer whose work on the environment, landscape, urbanism, and the arts hasappeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Outside, andother publications.
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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Landscape Architecture