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American Eden

American Eden Cover

American Eden

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

By Wade Graham

Harper, Hardcover, 9780061583421, 480pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2011

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Description

"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 nation's gardens and the visionaries behind them, from Thomas Thomas Jefferson's Monticello to Michelle Obama's vegetable garden, Fredrick Law Olmsted's expansive Central Park to Martha Stewart's how-to landscaping guides. In the tradition of Mark Kurlansky, Simon Schama, and Michael Pollan, Graham delivers a sweeping social history that examines our nation's history from an overlooked vantage point, illuminating anew the living drama of American self-creation.



Praise For American Eden

“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.”
-John Steele Gordon, Wall Street Journal

“We are what we plant, L.A.-based writer Wade Graham posits in his history of gardens. When he isn’t explaining the economic and cultural influences, he crafts fascinating profiles…. An engaging look at our own pieces of paradise.”
-Ann Herold, Los Angeles Magazine

“A shrewd, comprehensive and often entertaining guide…. Sure to be a scholarly as well as popular resource for years to come…. And its illustrations and photos tour of some of the world’s most ravishing gardens.”
-Tricia Springstubb, Cleveland Plain Dealer

“The most comprehensive and readable history ever written about the men and women who created the environments in which we now live…. will change the way you look not only at gardens, but also at American history and the hybrid world-part nature, part design-in which we live.”
-Charles Donelan, Santa Barbara Independent

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