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Green Oasis in Brooklyn: The Evergreens Cemetery 1849-2008 Hardcover – December 1, 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Personal |s With the diligence of an investigative reporter, the curiosity of a scholar, and the graceful prose of a literary stylist, John Rousmaniere has written a classic history of a graveyard. ― Sidney Offit, curator, George Polk Awards (Personal |s)

From the Publisher

This is the special story of a special place. "A green oasis for the refreshment of the city's soul and body" is how the architect Andrew Jackson Downing described an ideal landscape. And he he created one at The Evergreens Cemetery in historic Brooklyn, New York. Always engaging, at times surprising, sometimes even quirky, this fascinating story of a little-known gem tells of the many roles a cemetery plays--as burial ground, park, and patriotic site--in the tumultuous sweep of American history. With acclaimed nature photographer Ken Druse's photos and many historical illustrations, historian John Rousmaniere traces the Evergreens' multi-faceted history from its early, difficult years to today, when its grounds are almost filled and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Seapoint Books and Music; 1st edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978689941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978689940
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 1.2 x 12.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Spencer Smith on March 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
A classic rural cemetery originally called The Cemetery of the Evergreens, the 225-acre Evergreens was founded on New York's Brooklyn-Queens border in 1849. The only cemetery that the noted landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing worked on, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Historian John Rousmaniere stresses the place's astonishing diversity of the 525,000 interments. Here are German-American brewers, Chinese-American laborers, veterans of Civil War "Colored" regiments, famous performers (including Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Lester Young), noted artists--and Tammany Hall crooks, too. As he describes the cemetery's people, management, and varying fortunes, Rousmaniere keeps his eye on context, with chapters on changing styles of cemetery layout and monument design, the importance of Decoration Day, traditional burial "from the home," Chinese funeral rites, and how the 1918 flu epidemic and other calamities affected cemeteries. Throughout, Rousmaniere emphasizes the crucial role that cemeteries play in sustaining communities.
Award-winning photographer Ken Druse's rich photographs trace the beauty of the Evergreens' rolling hills through the seasons, and there are hundreds of vintage photographs, maps, and other illustrations.
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Format: Hardcover
For any lovers of New York and Brooklyn history, Rousmaniere's work is
a fascinating history not just of the specific folks laid to rest at
Evergreens Cemetery, but of the evolving attitudes towards death and
mourning. Evergreen's ties with the Revolutionary War, Manhattan island,
and some of Brooklyn's best known inhabitants are all detailed in this
excellent work about one of Kings County's oldest cemeteries.
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Format: Hardcover
As the son of a former President of this cemetery (I also worked summers there), I found this book to be fascinating. A lot of the early history was only partially known to me so I learned a lot about what was for almost a century, my family business. The only criticism I would have is that there is not a lot of time spent on the more recent history of this cemetery.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very informative book regarding the history of the Evergreens Cemetery in Brooklyn. I recommend it for general knowledge as you will be informed about the land and other historical facts about this cemetery. Great for teaching children, adults and all.
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