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

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Synopsis

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.

 

About Wade Graham

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Wade Graham is a Los Angeles–based garden designer, historian, and writer whose work on the environment, landscape, urbanism, and the arts has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Outside, and other publications. He received a BA in comparative literature from Columbia University and an MA and a PhD in U.S. history from the University of California at Los Angeles. He is an adjunct professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by HarperCollins e-books. 480 pages
Genres: History, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for American Eden

Kirkus Reviews

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The planned landscaping influence of “aesthetic giant” Andrew Jackson Downing paved the way for the blossoming genius of Frederick Law Olmsted, who, in collaboration with architect Calvert Vaux, brought “country to the city” in the redesign of New York’s Prospect Park and Central Park and Boston’...

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The New York Times

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The author of “American Eden” created a dramatic garden at his (well, his ex-wife’s) Los Angeles home with a panoramic view.

Sep 21 2011 | Read Full Review of American Eden: From Monticell...

The New York Times

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The author of “American Eden” created a dramatic garden at his (well, his ex-wife’s) Los Angeles home with a panoramic view.

Sep 21 2011 | Read Full Review of American Eden: From Monticell...

The New York Times

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The author of “American Eden” created a dramatic garden at his (well, his ex-wife’s) Los Angeles home with a panoramic view.

Sep 21 2011 | Read Full Review of American Eden: From Monticell...

Publishers Weekly

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From Jefferson's founding garden, Monticello, to Martha Stewart's Turkey Hill, American gardens have been revealing self-portraits that reflect their owners aspirations and anxieties, cultural legacies and passing fashions.

Feb 21 2011 | Read Full Review of American Eden: From Monticell...

The Wall Street Journal

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He ­intended the gardens to beautify the town and its new capitol building, but the Williamsburg gardens were also a display of Virginia's wealth and sophistication, a way of announcing: "We're not the backwoods anymore."

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The Wall Street Journal

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As America grew, urban access to greenery declined. The solution: Bring the countryside to town.

Apr 13 2011 | Read Full Review of American Eden: From Monticell...

Examiner

In the gardens closest to the house, he included sweeping lawns, tennis courts, a bowling green and walled gardens each designed to complete the image of a small village within a wealthy estate.

Apr 18 2011 | Read Full Review of American Eden: From Monticell...

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