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Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places

Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Outside Lies Magic is a book about the acute observation of ordinary things, about becoming aware in everyday places, about seeing in utterly new ways, about enriching your life unexpectedly.

For more than 20 years, John R. Stilgoe has developed and practiced the art of exploring the everyday world around us, where so much lies hidden just beneath the surface, offering uncommon knowledge if we but know what to look for. In this remarkable book, Stilgoe inspires us to become explorers on our own–on foot or on bicycle–and by so doing to reap the benefits of escaping, even temporarily, the traps of our programmed lives.

"Exploration encourages creativity, serendipity, invention," he writes. And while sharing his insights on how to explore, Stilgoe provides a fascinating pocket history of the American landscape, as striking in its originality as it is revealing. Stilgoe dissects our visual surroundings; his observations will transform the way you see everything. Through his eyes, an abandoned railroad line is redolent of history and future promise; front lawns recall our agrarian past; vacant lots hold cathedrals of potential.

From the electrical grid overhead to fences, malls, and main streets, Stilgoe offers a fresh understanding of the links and fractures in our society. After reading Outside Lies Magic, your world will never look the same again.

John R. Stilgoe is Orchard Professor of Landscape History at Harvard University. He is the author of Alongshore; Metropolitan Corridor: Railroads and the American Scene; Borderland: Origins of the American Suburb; and Common Landscape of America, 1540 to 1845. He lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.
"Exploration encourages creativity, serendipity, invention," writes John Stilgoe. While sharing his insights on how to discover what lies hidden beneath the surface of the everyday world around us, Stilgoe provides a pocket history of the American landscape. His observations will transform the way you see everything. From the electrical grid overhead to fences, malls, and main streets, Stilgoe offers an understanding of the links and fractures in our society. After reading Outside Lies Magic, the world will never look the same again.
"[This] evocative new book is less a guide than a tool for seeing, like a pair of binoculars taken on vacation for bird-watching. It's also a clarion call to what he calls . . . 'exploration'—wandering on foot or bike, in search not of cardiovascular fitness but of mental agility. Ultimately, it's about becoming the proverbial person on whom nothing is lost."—The New York Times
 
"With the zeal of many a guru attuned to the vexing complexities of life, Stilgoe celebrates the ordinary with gusto. He holds up to the bright light of discovery seemingly mundane aspects of social interaction, technology and the built environment. He prowls alleys, abandoned railroad tracks, the forested fringe surrounding gated communities, the mail carrier's evolving route—and finds meaning in them all."—The San Diego Union-Tribune
 
"Outside Lies Magic . . . is an  eye-opening journey into the development of our civilization. It is a human version of the Origin of Species and [Stilgoe] is the Charles Darwin of real estate, utility and transportation development substituting the nation's back yard for the for the Galapagos Islands."—Rocky Mountain News
 
"Anyone who reads this book will inevitably view the interstate service station, electric wires, the rural mailbox, even lawns and pigeons with a new perspective. Seeing the world around you, rather than floating through it like a robot, alerts the eye, jolts the brain—and challenges society. It's ambitious and rewarding. It's fun."—BookPage
 
"John R. Stilgoe aims to turn readers into explorers, leading them behind commercial strips, along drainage ditches, across power-line right-of-ways, and through torn chain-link fences. [Outside Lies Magic] treats these margins of life, places we are used to ignoring or abhorring, as essential material for the understanding of how the apparatus of new technologies has ordered our physical environment . . . Exploring supposedly 'off-limits,' the more we recover them for public use."—Architectural Record
 
"John Stilgoe, the Audubon of the built landscape, has noticed thousands of things that the rest of us have, literally, overlooked. This wonderful book will make a noticer out of you, too—an explorer of the mysteries to be found in every corner of this nation."—Bill McKibben, author of Enough
 
"'Get out now,' urges John Stilgoe's revelatory new book. He wants us to expand our world by taking in more of it, and his book helps us do just that—and expand ourselves in the process. Inside lies magic, too."—Tony Hiss, author of The Experience of Place
 
"Stilgoe calls this a 'straightforward guidebook to exploring' whose purpose borders on the evangelical, but it's the sort of book that makes the reader want to buttonhole anyone handy and say, 'Listen to this.'"—Publisher's Weekly

Synopsis:

As striking in its originality as it is revealing, this fascinating pocket history of the American landscape dissects our visual surroundings, transforming the way we see everything--from the electrical grid over our heads to old railroad lines, from fences and lawns to main streets, malls, and empty lots.

Synopsis:

Outside Lies Magic is a book about the acute observation of ordinary things, about becoming aware in everyday places, about seeing in utterly new ways, about enriching your life unexpectedly.

For more than 20 years, John R. Stilgoe has developed and practiced the art of exploring the everyday world around us, where so much lies hidden just beneath the surface, offering uncommon knowledge if we but know what to look for. In this remarkable book, Stilgoe inspires us to become explorers on our own-on foot or on bicycle-and by so doing to reap the benefits of escaping, even temporarily, the traps of our programmed lives.

"Exploration encourages creativity, serendipity, invention," he writes. And while sharing his insights on how to explore, Stilgoe provides a fascinating pocket history of the American landscape, as striking in its originality as it is revealing. Stilgoe dissects our visual surroundings; his observations will transform the way you see everything. Through his eyes, an abandoned railroad line is redolent of history and future promise; front lawns recall our agrarian past; vacant lots hold cathedrals of potential.

From the electrical grid overhead to fences, malls, and main streets, Stilgoe offers a fresh understanding of the links and fractures in our society. After reading Outside Lies Magic, your world will never look the same again.

About the Author

John R. Stilgoe is Orchard Professor of Landscape History at Harvard University. He is the author of Alongshore; Metropolitan Corridor: Railroads and the American Scene; Borderland: Origins of the American Suburb; and Common Landscape of America, 1540 to 1845. He lives in Norwell, Massachusetts.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802775634
Subtitle:
Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places
Author:
Stilgoe, John R.
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Sociology - Social Theory
Subject:
Architecture
Subject:
Walking
Subject:
Cycling
Subject:
Landscape architecture
Subject:
Anthropology - General
Edition Number:
1st pbk. ed.
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Series Volume:
v. 2
Publication Date:
19990401
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
7.99x4.87x.54 in. .43 lbs.

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » American Studies
History and Social Science » World History » General

Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 208 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802775634 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , As striking in its originality as it is revealing, this fascinating pocket history of the American landscape dissects our visual surroundings, transforming the way we see everything--from the electrical grid over our heads to old railroad lines, from fences and lawns to main streets, malls, and empty lots.
"Synopsis" by ,
Outside Lies Magic is a book about the acute observation of ordinary things, about becoming aware in everyday places, about seeing in utterly new ways, about enriching your life unexpectedly.

For more than 20 years, John R. Stilgoe has developed and practiced the art of exploring the everyday world around us, where so much lies hidden just beneath the surface, offering uncommon knowledge if we but know what to look for. In this remarkable book, Stilgoe inspires us to become explorers on our own-on foot or on bicycle-and by so doing to reap the benefits of escaping, even temporarily, the traps of our programmed lives.

"Exploration encourages creativity, serendipity, invention," he writes. And while sharing his insights on how to explore, Stilgoe provides a fascinating pocket history of the American landscape, as striking in its originality as it is revealing. Stilgoe dissects our visual surroundings; his observations will transform the way you see everything. Through his eyes, an abandoned railroad line is redolent of history and future promise; front lawns recall our agrarian past; vacant lots hold cathedrals of potential.

From the electrical grid overhead to fences, malls, and main streets, Stilgoe offers a fresh understanding of the links and fractures in our society. After reading Outside Lies Magic, your world will never look the same again.

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