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American Eden : From Monticello to Central Park to Our Backyards: What Our Gardens Tell Us About Who We Are - Wade Graham

American Eden

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

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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.

“Mr. Graham recounts his tale with considerable verve and a vast erudition in the history of gardening and the arts generally…. Among much else, Mr. Graham shows us that the history of how our nation grew can be found in what it has grown.”

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.

ISBN: 9780062078865
ISBN-10: 0062078860
Audience: General
Format: ePUB
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 480
Published: 5th April 2011