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American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us about Who We Are

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American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us about Who We Are Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The story of our nation and ourselves—as told through our country's most significant gardens and their creators

From Frederick Law Olmsted to Richard Neutra, Michelle Obama to our neighbors, Americans throughout history have revealed something of themselves—their personalities, desires, and beliefs—in the gardens they create. Rooted in the time and place of their making, as much as in the minds and identities of their makers, gardens mirror the struggles and energies of a changing society. Melding biography, history, and cultural commentary in a one-of-a-kind narrative, American Eden presents a dynamic, sweeping look at this country's landscapes and the visionaries behind them.

Monticello's gardens helped Jefferson reconcile his conflicted feelings about slavery—and take his mind off his increasing debt. Edith Wharton's gardens made her feel more European and superior to her wealthy but insufficiently sophisticated countrymen. Martha Stewart's how-to instructions helped bring Americans back into their gardens, while at the same time stoking and exploiting our anxieties about social class. Isamu Noguchi's and Robert Smithson's experiments reinvigorated the age-old exchange between art and the garden.

American Eden offers an inclusive definition of the garden, considering intentional landscapes that range from domestic kitchen gardens to city parks and national parks, suburban backyards and golf courses, public plazas and Manhattan's High Line park, reclaimed from freight train tracks. And it exposes the overlap between garden-making and painting, literature, and especially architecture—the garden's inseparable sibling—to reveal the deep interconnections between the arts and their most inspired practitioners.

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 a diverse cast of landscape-makers—whether artists, architects, or housewives, amateurs or professionals, robber barons, politicians, reformers, or dreamers—Wade Graham vividly unfolds the larger cultural history through more personal dramas.

Beautifully illustrated with color and black-and-white images, 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—a saga that mirrors and illuminates our nation's invention, and constant reinvention, of itself.

Synopsis:

Looks at U.S. history through the lens of the best American gardens over time--from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello up through the present day. 40,000 first printing.

Table of Contents

Founding gardens (1600-1826) — A walk in the park: suburbia and the sublime (1820-1890) — The golden age: modernity and its discontents (1880-1915) — Forward to the past: the long romance of the arts & crafts garden (1850-1925) — California and the modern garden (1920-1960s) — Art confronts nature, redux: triumphs and anxieties of landscape architecture (1940s-2000s) — All our missing parts: money and virtue in the go-go years.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780062078865
Subtitle:
From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us about Who We Are
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Author:
Graham, Wade
Subject:
Garden Design
Subject:
Social history
Subject:
Gardening-Garden Structure
Subject:
Gardening-Gardens of the United States
Subject:
Gardening-History and Theory
Subject:
Gardening-World
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Publication Date:
20110405
Binding:
ELECTRONIC
Language:
English
Pages:
480

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Landscape Architecture
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Regional
History and Social Science » World History » General
Home and Garden » Gardening » Fruits and Nuts
Home and Garden » Gardening » General

American Eden: From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us about Who We Are
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Product details 480 pages HarperCollins - English 9780062078865 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Looks at U.S. history through the lens of the best American gardens over time--from Thomas Jefferson's Monticello up through the present day. 40,000 first printing.
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