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American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – März 2006


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The lawn is the centerpiece of the American Dream, and why wouldn t we dream about our obsession? In American Green, Ted Steinberg explores the psychological, moral, economic, and, yes, even political implications of growing and mowing a lawn, a not at all academic act that turns out to be a blast. You may never picnic the same way again, but if you do, you will want to talk about it with your city councilman, if not your doctor. --Robert Sullivan, author of Rats" -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch .

Synopsis

Explores American lawn care from its postwar popularity to current efforts that utilize turf colorants, leaf blowers, and riding mowers, in a study that also evaluates consequences such as mower accidents and pesticide poisonings.

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Amazon.com: 9 Rezensionen
12 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
You don't have to water your lawn everday 29. September 2006
Von J. Liesenfelt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As a reader of Crabgrass Frontier many years ago, I always knew that our lawns today are much, much different than what Americans of the first 150 years would know and while sitting through a recent City Council meeting in which it was determined that one subdivision was watering their lawns with about 14 feet of water a year, I knew there had to be a better way to maintain your lawn. Steinberg takes you from the history of lawns to history of lawn care. Along the way, Steinberg exposes you to some of the obsessive behavior of lawn care fanatics to the efforts of the anti-leaf blower campaigns. Steinberg exposes that most of our green lawns and lawn care habits are formed by marketing of companies likes Scotts and LawnChem or rely on plentiful low cost labor. Steinberg takes the lawn mower industry to task over mower safety (in a chapter that can be hard to read, especially if you have kids). Towards the end, Steinberg even takes on the native plant supporters, before telling you about his father's "Enlightenment Lawn."

As one who doesn't fertilize, water and spread bug killer on the lawn excessively, I can feel a bit alone in the neighborhood, however, Steinberg's book lets me know that I have plenty of company
21 von 24 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Hard-hitting, funny, insightful, and thought-provoking 17. März 2006
Von Some call me Tim - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a brilliant book from one of the greatest environmental historians writing today. Combining muck-raking expose, insightful cultural and social history, and a wonderful sense of humor, it is a real page-turner. It will change the way you look at your -- and your neighbor's -- front yard forever.
3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Witty expose of the American lawn 4. Juli 2007
Von Arthur Digbee - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
This book makes it clear that Americans are very odd people, at least when it comes to lawns. Not only do Americans like to have patches of green around their homes, but they like *big* patches of green that require lots of attention to keep green.

In this book, Ted Steinberg tells you everything that you might want to know about these lawns. He begins the story with the cookie-cutter homes and lawns of Levittowns. These aspired to reproduce English formal gardens in the New World, but in a mass-produced way. Then Steinberg moves to the spread of lawns across the country, and the extensive use of power lawnmowers, fertilizers and pesticides, and intensive watering. For many Americans, lawn care borders on the obsessive-compulsive, and this is fed by the lawn care industry, especially Scotts. Golf courses represent another, equally compulsive, variation on the home lawn theme.

This book is a well-written expose of the American lawn. It's also quite funny in two ways. First, Americans are funny when they take care of the lawns, so Steinberg can stick just to the facts and be funny. Second, he is good at making funny side comments, often tongue-in-cheek.

There are serious sides. The environmental consequences of the American lawn include intensive water use in the desert southwest, lawn chemical runoff, lawnmower air pollution, leaf-blower noise pollution, and the spread of invasive species at the expense of native species. Lawns also come at a significant cost in safety, thanks to power mowers, especially riding mowers.

After that indictment, Steinberg concludes with a vision of eco-friendly, safe landscaping - - one that even includes lawns.
4 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Fabulous 8. August 2007
Von Heidi Herpel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This is one of the most entertaining and informative books I have read in years. Steinberg, a clearly gifted author, has taken a seemingly mundane topic and written something that has depth, is interesting, and very humorous. I thoroughly enjoyed his writing style. I will read it again in the future.
3 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of the America Lawn... 16. November 2012
Von Bryan Byrd - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
But were afraid to ask.

Perhaps it isn't as amazing that someone would tackle this verdant subject as that there are actually two books which advertise themselves as a history of the lawn (see also The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession), and that both include a form of the word obsession. It is important to state up front that I have completely missed out on this particular passion - crabgrass, clover and dandelions are welcome in my front yard, as are the ruts underneath the swing-set, the impressions left by my hammock frame, and the inevitable proliferation of mystery grasses growing up through the cracks in my sidewalks.

I give that little bit of personal information because I'm trying to define exactly who I think this book is best suited for: The lawn-owner who has not yet crossed over to the fanatical, but who suspects they may be headed there. (Remember - people who don't have a problem obsessing over their lawn don't sit around wondering if they have a problem obsessing over their lawn.) If you are genuinely interested in your yard, yet are still able to have a sense of humor about your ardor, then this well-researched and sincere history of the lawn, lawn-care, and its future is targeted at you. If, on the other hand, you, like Clint Eastwood, are more likely to target trespassers on your lawn with a double-barrel shotgun, then perhaps there are other avenues open for your reading pleasure. (The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed, and Growing Every Season of the Year)

Author Ted Steinberg eschews this theological approach and, while avoiding the ready-made opportunity for lampooning the idea, also never forgets that what we're talking about when we talk about lawns is really just grass - no matter what Scotts might want us to think. Divided into three parts, AMERICAN GREEN recounts the history of the lawn as we know it today, the side effects of the search for a perfect green, and finally new trends in the yard mentality. From the English idea of lawns to the hyper-conformity of Levittown; the history of Scotts and TruGreen ChemLawn; the environmental arguments; and the urge to merge with natural grass rather than turf grass, Mr. Steinberg is nothing if not thorough. After reading American Green, there is truly nothing more I want to know about the history of the Lawn.

I think perhaps it is this exhaustive approach that drags the book down in the end. I believe that any subject can be made interesting by a skilled author, but the less-is-more cliche may have worked better in this instance. As it is, AMERICAN GREEN is too much for those interested in something diversionary, but probably not enough for true devotees of the lawn. That leaves a chunk of people who are just right for the book, but who are probably out laying down fertilizer rather than looking for some light reading to round out their hammock-time. Highly recommended for lawn-afficionados; probably of marginal interest to heretics like me.
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