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Landscape in Sight: Looking at America Paperback – March 11, 2000


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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Jackson was greatly admired as a renaissance man of the American landscape: he sketched it, traveled through it, observed it, and wrote about it in essays that integrated his knowledge of urban history, cultural history, sociology, psychology, and aesthetics. By describing not only its physical features but also the social life and customs of its inhabitants, he brought a fresh approach to understanding and evaluating the idea of landscape. For this volume, Horowitz (American studies, Smith Coll.) has selected what she considers "Jackson's most highly regarded writing of the American landscape." It includes excerpts from Landscape magazine, which he edited from 1951 to 1968, as well as one of his last essays, "Places for Fun and Games," a set of original and sensitive observations on the relationship between recreation and the places either created or adapted for it. Horowitz's compact yet thorough biographical essay completes this important volume for collections on landscape architecture, urban design, and American studies.?Paul Glassman, Pratt Inst. Lib., New York
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

A large and varied sampler of essays by the late doyen of American cultural geography, who died in 1996. To judge by this well-edited assemblage, spanning half a century, Jackson (``Brink'' to friends and students) never saw a landscape he didn't like. He writes with the high excitement of discovery and boosterism. An intellectual who, trained in the classical arts of Europe, came late to appreciate the vernacular style of, say, a Vermont farmhouse or a New Mexico adobe, Jackson championed the cause of the native in all its manifestations. Thus we have his notes on ``helix sports,'' a lovely term for surfing, snowboarding, sailing, and the other ``sports of mobility''; his careful study of the transformation of the American backyard and garage from places of work to places of private recreation (and, now that garages are being remade into home offices, to places of work once again); his thoughtful remarks on the best uses of shared spaces, of ``learning to use them in a temporary way in order to overcome both the old-fashioned biological exclusiveness and the more modern emphasis on competition and control.'' Jackson exhibits any number of well-considered prejudices, among them a liking for not-too-orderly urban centers; at one point, he proposes that the Ford Foundation give grants to students of city planning with the condition that ``for a year they would look at no picture books of Brave New Sweden and spend the time instead in the heart of some chaotic, unredeemed, ancient city.'' Editor Horowitz, a historian at Smith College, recounts Jackson's career as a freelance scholar, reminding us that, as a self-taught geographer, he was always held in some mistrust by the academy. Highly recommended for geographers and students of the American scene. (51 illustrations, not seen) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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