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Taking Measures Across the American Landscape Paperback – 1996


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Taking Measures Across the American Landscape + Recovering Landscape: Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture + The Landscape Urbanism Reader
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300086962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300086966
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 9.6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #487,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

This book gives the impression of being handcrafted, as if each copy were its own special volume. It is a loving appreciation of the land, space, and forms that architects, builders, road crews, and farmers have added to the America that can be seen from above. Corner (landscape architecture and regional planning, Univ. of Pennsylvania) has contributed the essays and commentary that give the book its flow. His drawings are the work of a keen imagination capable of startling points of view. But it is MacLean's aerial photography that forms this beautiful volume, giving heart and light to the land and all that is upon it. The dignity of Iowa farms, the quilted surface of agriculture in North Dakota, and the amazing markings in the Mojave somehow merge to give a sense of a sculpted nation waiting for MacLean to fly over it at low altitude to photograph and glorify. This is a work of pure aesthetics, with some prose to hook it all together, but it will be visually thrilling to library browsers. Highly recommended.?David Bryant, New Canaan P.L., Ct.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

How we represent the land to ourselves affects the ways in which we value and act upon it, according to landscape architect Corner (Univ. of Pennsylvania). His text accompanies the beautifully suggestive aerial photographs of MacLean (whose previous book was Look at the Land), which document the ways in which we impose shape and meaning on our landscape: Irrigated fields contrast sharply with the surrounding desert; old homesteads, now abandoned, anchored people in an undifferentiated and dangerous landscape--their isolation from one another reflecting American individualism; and wheat fields follow the rolling contours of the land. ``Revealed is the absurd and magnificent ingenuity of American people,'' Corner writes, ``a people enmeshed with yet remote from their land.'' -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Matthew O. Nugent on June 13, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book will change the way you look at and think about landscape. Technically, it's a landscape architecture book, and the essays that deal with that subject are excellent. James Corner is one of the best landscape architects/theorists around, and his writing is though-provoking, lucid and enjoyable to read. He draws an wonderful comparison between this work and Le Corbusier's sightseeing flights over North Africa in the 1930's. But without a doubt, the reason to buy this book are the photographs that document the unexpected beauty that arises out of the interaction between man and nature. The incongruities of landscape, juxtaposed against the linear certainty of the Land Ordinance Act grid, farm plots and other common interventions make for stunning photography.
There are also little subplots, such as creative reuses of already built spaces (tennis courts as parking lots & football field yard lines over a baseball diamond), and the similarity of totally unrelated natural forms (who knew that from 7,000 feet, cracked pond ice looks like microscopic images of streptococcal bacteria?).
There are dozens of other little thoughts I could include, and one of most remarkable things about this book is that the photogrpahs allow the reader to draw on his or her own knowledge to make connections and interpertations. There's no right or wrong way to see these things, which makes it universally rewarding and enjoyable.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is one of the nicest Christmas gifts I ever received. Two guys flew across the United States at low level taking wonderful photographs, many of which are worth framing as art. A geographer's reflection and insights on the frames draw attention to the cultural impact on the landscape of U.S. history, its varied immigrants, the rectangular land survey, and of the Western mathematics embedded in their choices.
No math teacher looking for an exciting resource that supports cross-disciplinary work would find this book except by accident. Nor would those who fly in small planes and want high quality, thoughtful, intellectual books that go beyond coffee-table glamour and reflect in a serious way about the earth beneath. Nor would somebody interested in cultural geography. This is because the cataloging-in-publication information is generic and unimaginative.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R Jeremy Oviatt on May 7, 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is incredible, the essays, photography, map drawings and descriptions really changed the way I looked at the world around me. This book was used as our text book for a Senior Project class in design school.
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