Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.75 shipping
Trees in Paradise: A California History Hardcover – October 28, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Tourists who cross the length and breadth of California’s topographically diverse countryside can’t fail to notice its wide variety of trees, from the giant sequoias of the north to the coconut palms and Joshua trees of the south. As Stony Brook University professor and former Californian Farmer points out in this oversize landscape history of our third-largest state, many of these trees are nonnative flora, like eucalyptus and citrus trees, cultivated after the U.S. conquest of Mexico and concurrent discovery of gold in 1848. Those seminal events in California’s history not only lured a flood of settlers but also inspired its new citizens to transform once-brown hills and valleys into Eden-like sanctuaries of orange groves and fig trees. In his comprehensive inquiry, Farmer charts the highs and lows of this horticultural revolution, including the ecological devastation that prompted environmentalists to protect the Yosemite Valley. More than just a dry botanical study, Farmer’s work blends superlatively nuanced prose with plentiful eye-opening anecdotes to produce a unique history of little-known but significant aspects of the Golden State. --Carl Hays
“A sweeping and brilliantly observed history of the promise and pitfalls of the California Dream, as seen through the intertwined lives of trees and people.” (Sir Peter Crane, author of Ginkgo)
“A breathtaking, dramatic, and insightful history of California as seen through the rise and fall of the state’s most iconic trees. Beautifully written, every page is a revelation, bringing to vivid life the myriad ways in which California’s landscape was transformed by human greed and desire, often with disastrous results. You will never think about a tree or the California Dream in the same way.” (Eric Jay Dolin, author of When America First Met China)
“A small group of savvy historians and ecologists—from William Cronon to Daniel Botkin and others—have in recent decades been alerting us to a neglected reality: that much of ‘nature’ as we perceive it is human-arranged. Jared Farmer is an important voice within this corps. Peering at California as landscape and dreamscape, he sees the forest for the trees.” (David Quammen, author of Spillover)
“Knowledgeable, wise and compelling, Farmer’s book uncovers the subtle and surprising webs connecting the social, cultural and natural worlds of California, and the planet.”
—Kirkus (starred review)
“The wealth of research makes this an important addition to the California bookshelf. Farmer shows us how devoted, destructive, foolhardy, ambitious, greedy, enriched and showy Californians can be—not just in relation to our trees but also in general.” —Los Angeles Times
Top customer reviews
Farmer is an excellent writer, the book is full of interesting insights. Of particular interest at the end of the book were the Epilogue, Further Reading, and Acknowledgments, toghether these three sections give a picture of how the book came toghether. It is not always possible to hear from an author in such a candid way. I am already looking forward to reading his other two books.
This is a serious history of eucalyptus in California. It’s a complex story that requires an understanding of scientific as well as historical documents. Although I would quibble about some details, it is also a fair treatment of a controversial subject. Mr. Farmer is an historian, not a tree or native plant advocate.
Mr. Farmer tells the story in an engaging way and he puts it into a social context that deserves respect from both tree and native plant advocates. I am grateful to Mr. Farmer for bringing some solid information to an otherwise emotional debate. If it is widely read it could contribute to the resolution of a conflict that has been intractable.