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Kirkus Reviews, 4/15/11
“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.”
Niagara Gazette, 4/16/11
“A full-scale biography.”
Landscape Architecture magazine, July 2011
“Exhaustively researched and clearly written, this volume should become the standard for students of both history and design.”
Charleston Post and Courier, 7/17/11
“Reading Genius of Place feels like listening to Olmsted's best friend dishing about the private life of a real person…Martin makes a convincing argument that Olmsted saw all of his work, from park-making to gold mining, as social reform. He points out the subtle ironies of Olmstead's life and provides historical and personal background without bogging the reader down or disrupting the flow of the narrative…Genius of Place is far more than a survey of Olmsted's creations. It's a tightly woven narrative that ties together his personal life, his many vocations and his impact on a turbulent era.”
The Dirt (the American Society of Landscape Architects blog), 7/27/11
“Illuminates Olmsted’s major achievements as a visionary artist, social reformer, pioneering environmentalist, and founder of the modern profession of landscape architecture…Does not disappoint in the totality of its coverage…[Martin’s] intriguing account of Olmsted’s life…captures the significance of his legacy.”
The book is extremely well written and a true pleasure to read.
Martin does an incredible job of balancing Olmstead's personal and professional life that gives us an incredible picture of an amazing man.
Growing up in New York, I knew about Olmsted's role in designing Central Park as well as many parks in urban areas in upstate NY.
Frederick Law Olmsted was one of THE most interesting men in American history as far as I am concerned. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Amy L Albrich
This book was extremely well written. I typically don't like biographies but this one had me engaged. Read morePublished 27 days ago by Jill A Feblowitz
I learned so much about this Renaissance man, and many popular misconceptions about what he did and didn't do were cleared up. Read morePublished 1 month ago by B. Mitchell-Dwyer
I had first heard about Olmsted when we visited Biltmore in NC; then I ran in to him again in the "Devil in the White City" the story of the Chicago World's Fair. Read morePublished 8 months ago by John R Jackson
Olmsted’s design criteria coupled with his practical and organizational talents motivate as well as provide guidance. Read morePublished 9 months ago by C. O'Brien
A well told story of an amazing life in our young nation. He had influence well beyond landscape architecture, writing, and politics.Published 11 months ago by Barbara Cappucci
The author writes of Olmsted, ‘The parks he crafted…weren’t merely masterpieces from an aesthetic standpoint. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Linda in CT
This is an in-depth look at the life of this great, great man of America. Who knew all of the things that Olmstead accomplished? I thought this biography was excellent.Published 11 months ago by Susan U. Piland