American Eden

American Eden

From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards : What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are

eBook - 2011
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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--Publisher description.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2011.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780062078865
0062078860
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvi, 459 p., [16] p. of plates) : ill. (some col.).
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 (1850-1945)
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.
Summary: 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--Publisher description.

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nerowolfgal
Jun 04, 2013

Lots of social science/art babble, very few pictures of the actual gardens. There seems to be no passion or actual interest in gardening in the book; it is more about a very stilted and limited view of social trends. The only time the writing comes to life at all is the author describing her childhood home in California which was a social magnet for artists and writers. One gets the feeling those memories were the reason for the book and it was a bit of a vanity project.

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