American Green by Ted Steinberg
The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn

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Synopsis

Americans are locked in a love-hate relationship with their lawns, and Ted Steinberg tells you why.

The rise of the perfect lawn represents one of the most profound transformations in the history of the American landscape. Today the lawn is one of America's leading "crops," outstripping cotton in acres by a factor of two. American Green, Ted Steinberg's witty exposé of this sometimes bizarre phenomenon, traces the history of the lawn from its explosion in the postwar suburban community of Levittown—just miles from where Steinberg grew up—to the present love affair with turf colorants, leaf blowers, and riding mowers. For half a century, Americans have been on a quest for the greenest, weed-free, ultra-trim turf imaginable. But perfection has its costs. Blending muckraking journalism and social history, Steinberg looks at both the lighter and the darker side of the all-American landscape, from mower accidents and pesticide poisonings to lawn-mower racing and the man so addicted to perfection that he re-created Augusta's 12th hole in his backyard. 40 illustrations.
 

About Ted Steinberg

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Ted Steinberg is Professor of History and Law at Case Western Reserve University. One of the most brilliant, articulate, and provocative of the rising generation of environmental historians, he is the author of Acts of God: The Unnatural History of Natural Disaster in America, Slide Mountain, or theFolly of Owning Nature, and Nature Incorporated. He lives in Cleveland, Ohio.
 
Published March 6, 2006 by W. W. Norton. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, History. Non-fiction

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Publishers Weekly

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Apartment-dwelling urbanites may be surprised to learn how significant lawn care is to the American economy, generating more than $10 billion in annual sales of pesticides, fertilizers and other pr

Jan 23 2006 | Read Full Review of American Green: The Obsessive...

The New York Times

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The popularity of split-level houses in the postwar years resulted in a lot of banked lawns, and the combination could be deadly, even years after my brother's near evisceration — 213 of the 362 deaths associated with riding mowers from 1987 to 1990 resulted from tipovers.

Jun 18 2006 | Read Full Review of American Green: The Obsessive...

The New York Times

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A couple of years ago, a homeowner in Seattle decided to take extreme action against the moles that had turned his lawn into a complex network of raised grassy veins.

Mar 10 2006 | Read Full Review of American Green: The Obsessive...

Publishers Weekly

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Apartment-dwelling urbanites may be surprised to learn how significant lawn care is to the American economy, generating more than $10 billion in annual sales of pesticides, fertilizers and other products.

| Read Full Review of American Green: The Obsessive...

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