- File Size: 4071 KB
- Print Length: 494 pages
- Publisher: Da Capo Press (May 31, 2011)
- Publication Date: May 31, 2011
- Sold by: Hachette Book Group
- Language: English
- ASIN: B004ZGRPQC
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #287,931 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$21.99|
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Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted (A Merloyd Lawrence Book) Kindle Edition
|Length: 494 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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"[A] wide-ranging, surprisingly revealing biography...Martin brings the Hartford-born Olmsted to life...An eye-opening, much-needed biography of a man whose work continues to inspire...An illuminating, sorely-needed biography."―Boston Globe
"Martin does an excellent job of tracing the development of this multitalented genius and-by the book's end-makes a powerful case for Olmsted as a reformer who not only created some of the world's most beautiful parkland but also helped to shape our lives and public spaces as we know them today."―Christian Science Monitor
"A full-scale biography."―Niagara Gazette
"[A] straightforward and enjoyable book...Reading this book, you get a full picture of the man, a man frustratingly immature and coddled for so many years, a man struck by personal tragedies...and ultimately a man whose achievements warrant a full-length biography."―The Daily Green
"Martin is good at shedding light on the less familiar aspects of Olmsted's life. Having written biographies of Alan Greenspan and Ralph Nader, he seems to know his way around rather remote personalities...Engaging."―Wall Street Journal
"A comprehensive journal of Frederick Law Olmsted's life written with great precision and exhaustive historical specifications; but these elements do not get in the way of a well-told tale...Highly recommended."―New York Journal of Books
"A workmanlike biography; it adequately examines the balance between Olmsted's public and private personae."―Library Journal
"[An] ardent biography...Olmsted's sense of adventure compelled him to embark upon a turbulent stretch as a sailor, which Martin renders as thrillingly as any maritime tale...Martin presents Olmsted's era in all its glory, with the intimate affairs and staggering accomplishments of the great man unfolding against the vivid backdrop of 19th-century America."―Publishers Weekly
"Olmsted led one of the most productive and influential lives in American history, yet owing to the diffusiveness of his early ventures and the nature of his principal legacy, landscape architecture, he has never attained the name recognition of some of his more singularly focused peers. Justin Martin's engaging new biography will help to change that perception...Martin has a particular skill for identifying and bringing forth the compelling aspects of the projects chosen for inclusion...A fast-moving and fascinating narrative of the life of one of America's great visionary figures."―Buffalo News --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
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Initially, I wasn't sure how interested I'd be in Olmsted's life. All I knew about him at the start was his involvement in Central Park. I figured I'd read the first twenty pages and see how I liked it. Well, Mr. Martin hooked me in with his deeply personal narrative. I learned that there was a lot more to Olmsted than I had been aware, including his work for the Boston park system, his plan for the Capitol grounds, his design for the Biltmore estate, and his contribution to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. Mr. Martin is clearly a first-rate historian. Kudos to him!
Olmsted wasn't an easy man to like -- he was prickly, opinionated and didn't hesitate to inflict his gripes on others -- but Justin Martin makes his story easy to enjoy. Martin is sympathetic to his main character without being sycophantic, and makes us sympathize with the many triumphs and tragedies of Olmsted's life. He always finds the telling quote that explains why Olmsted was both celebrated and criticized.
But even more, he reveals -- and helps us discover -- the thought and philosophy behind Olmsted-designed parks, no matter how big or small. As a result, I walk through Central Park with an entirely different consciousness and appreciation of its gifts -- and that alone is makes this book worth reading.
Well worth reading