Genius of Place (A Merloyd Lawrence Book)


Price: $21.99
(as of Dec 27,2019 03:16:24 UTC – Details)


The full and definitive biography of Frederick Law Olmsted, influential abolitionist, ardent social reformer and conservationist, and the visionary designer of Central Park

Frederick Law Olmsted is arguably the most important historical figure that the average American knows the least about. Best remembered for his landscape architecture, from New York’s Central Park to Boston’s Emerald Necklace to Stanford University’s campus, Olmsted was also an influential journalist, early voice for the environment, and abolitionist credited with helping dissuade England from joining the South in the Civil War. This momentous career was shadowed by a tragic personal life, also fully portrayed here.Most of all, he was a social reformer. He didn’t simply create places that were beautiful in the abstract. An awesome and timeless intent stands behind Olmsted’s designs, allowing his work to survive to the present day. With our urgent need to revitalize cities and a widespread yearning for green space, his work is more relevant now than it was during his lifetime. Justin Martin restores Olmsted to his rightful place in the pantheon of great Americans.



“The remarkable story of America’s first, and still foremost, landscape architect…Martin helps explain the driven, artistic temperament that informed the famed landscapes. He persuasively casts Olmsted as essentially a social reformer whose passion for meaningful work found its most complete expression in the creation of public spaces intended for the enjoyment of all. A revealing look at a still-underappreciated giant whose work touches posterity more intimately and more delightfully than many of his distinguished Civil War-era contemporaries.”―Kirkus Reviews

“[A] wide-ranging, surprisingly revealing biography…Martin brings the Hartford-born Olmsted to life…An eye-opening, much-needed biography of a man whose work continues to inspire…An illuminating, sorely-needed biography.”―Boston Globe

“Martin does an excellent job of tracing the development of this multitalented genius and-by the book’s end-makes a powerful case for Olmsted as a reformer who not only created some of the world’s most beautiful parkland but also helped to shape our lives and public spaces as we know them today.”―Christian Science Monitor

“A full-scale biography.”―Niagara Gazette

“[A] straightforward and enjoyable book…Reading this book, you get a full picture of the man, a man frustratingly immature and coddled for so many years, a man struck by personal tragedies…and ultimately a man whose achievements warrant a full-length biography.”―The Daily Green

“Martin is good at shedding light on the less familiar aspects of Olmsted’s life. Having written biographies of Alan Greenspan and Ralph Nader, he seems to know his way around rather remote personalities…Engaging.”―Wall Street Journal

“A comprehensive journal of Frederick Law Olmsted’s life written with great precision and exhaustive historical specifications; but these elements do not get in the way of a well-told tale…Highly recommended.”―New York Journal of Books

“A workmanlike biography; it adequately examines the balance between Olmsted’s public and private personae.”―Library Journal

“[An] ardent biography…Olmsted’s sense of adventure compelled him to embark upon a turbulent stretch as a sailor, which Martin renders as thrillingly as any maritime tale…Martin presents Olmsted’s era in all its glory, with the intimate affairs and staggering accomplishments of the great man unfolding against the vivid backdrop of 19th-century America.”―Publishers Weekly

“Olmsted led one of the most productive and influential lives in American history, yet owing to the diffusiveness of his early ventures and the nature of his principal legacy, landscape architecture, he has never attained the name recognition of some of his more singularly focused peers. Justin Martin’s engaging new biography will help to change that perception…Martin has a particular skill for identifying and bringing forth the compelling aspects of the projects chosen for inclusion…A fast-moving and fascinating narrative of the life of one of America’s great visionary figures.”―Buffalo News



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