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Design on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture (Belknap Press) Hardcover – January 31, 1971

ISBN-13: 978-0674198708 ISBN-10: 0674198700 Edition: 1st

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Design on the Land: The Development of Landscape Architecture (Belknap Press) + The Landscape of Man: Shaping the Environment from Prehistory to the Present Day (Third Edition, Expanded and Updated)
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Product Details

  • Series: Belknap Press
  • Hardcover: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Belknap Press; 1st edition (January 31, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674198700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674198708
  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 7.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #77,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Markus Luck on February 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Unfortunately, gentle reader, you're likely to have this book assigned to you as part of your landscape architecture curriculum. If you're not in this situation, run from this book. First, the book was published in 1971, with no noticible updates in the past 33 years. Second, despite the relative modernity of the book, the author seems unaware of any advances in the social sciences and liberal arts after the Hoover administration. Thirdly the book rambles--no incision, no succinct observations, no underlying theme. Fourthly, Newton loads the book with indefensible positions. Fifthly, author weaves a cursory and grossly simplified (reduced) version of world history into an analysis of gardens and town plans. The result is horrid. Here is an example:
From the chapter on Medieval gardens--"It is almost as though man's eyes were not yet wholly open to the wonders of the natural world, for he was too buy contemplating his soul and its tortuous future. Daylight was too bright to bear; these were truly the Dark Ages, and openness to worldly experience would have to wait."
These types of generalizations, which don't stand up to even a cursory understanding of the gardens of the Middle Ages (herbalists, medicinal gardens, plurality of plant species growing in cloisters, flora in illuminated manuscripts, etc), that pepper the book.
This doesn't even begin to address the the ubiquitous invocations of "Mankind."
No university worth its salt can put this in front of a student in good conscience.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is THE textbook for the history of landscape architecture. From early city planning in the cradle of civilization to recreating nature in the design work of our contemporaries, this book provides a chronology of land designs and theories, and outlines the formalizing of our profession by the father of landscape architecture, Frederick Law Olmstead. This book provides a framework for more intense study of both landscapes and the design theories associated with them, including the layout of ancient cities to New York's Central Park. This is one of those textbooks worth keeping well after graduation!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JAA Tats on April 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Unwary student that I was, I bought this book to learn more about the history of Landscape Architecture than I had picked up in the two classes. Instead, it nearly turned me off the profession. I was never able to read more than a page or two before it literally put me to sleep. In a field as visually oriented as LA, you'd think it would be peppered with photos of examples, drawings, illustrations. You can leaf through it vainly looking for anything to break the monotony of the type laden pages. Nor is it a good reference; you can't find anything in it. If any book ever needed an editor, it is this one. Fortunately it really wasn't required reading, and other authors have done a better job.
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