American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn

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9780393060843: American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn

Americans are locked in a love-hate relationship with their lawns, and Ted Steinberg tells you why.

The rise of the perfect lawn represents one of the most profound transformations in the history of the American landscape. Today the lawn is one of America's leading "crops," outstripping cotton in acres by a factor of two. American Green, Ted Steinberg's witty exposé of this sometimes bizarre phenomenon, traces the history of the lawn from its explosion in the postwar suburban community of Levittown—just miles from where Steinberg grew up—to the present love affair with turf colorants, leaf blowers, and riding mowers. For half a century, Americans have been on a quest for the greenest, weed-free, ultra-trim turf imaginable. But perfection has its costs. Blending muckraking journalism and social history, Steinberg looks at both the lighter and the darker side of the all-American landscape, from mower accidents and pesticide poisonings to lawn-mower racing and the man so addicted to perfection that he re-created Augusta's 12th hole in his backyard. 40 illustrations.

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About the Author:

Ted Steinberg is an environmental historian at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the author of four books, including Down to Earth: Nature's Role in American History.

From Publishers Weekly:

Apartment-dwelling urbanites may be surprised to learn how significant lawn care is to the American economy, generating more than $10 billion in annual sales of pesticides, fertilizers and other products. Steinberg, an environmental historian, is aiming for the grassy equivalent of Fast Food Nation, with one key difference—while people know junk food isn't good for them, they may not be aware that most lawn care products are not only unnecessary but may actually harm soil and turf. He particularly damns the lawnmower industry, revealing how manufacturers "worked tirelessly to mislead the American public" for years in order to avoid the expense of installing safety features that could prevent severed fingers. Steinberg's subjects range from the postwar boom in suburban lawns to contemporary debates over noisy leaf blowers, and he mixes cultural history with personal lawn-related experiences in Long Island and Ohio, where some people maintain putting greens in their backyards. (Not surprisingly, Steinberg points out, golf courses are "the most intensively managed lawns in America.") There's plenty of muckraking outrage, but it's delivered in a friendly, engaging voice that might just win over skeptics. 40 illus. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Americans are locked in a love-hate relationship with their lawns, and Ted Steinberg tells you why. The rise of the perfect lawn represents one of the most profound transformations in the history of the American landscape. Today the lawn is one of America s leading crops, outstripping cotton in acres by a factor of two. American Green, Ted Steinberg s witty expose of this sometimes bizarre phenomenon, traces the history of the lawn from its explosion in the postwar suburban community of Levittownjust miles from where Steinberg grew upto the present love affair with turf colorants, leaf blowers, and riding mowers. For half a century, Americans have been on a quest for the greenest, weed-free, ultra-trim turf imaginable. But perfection has its costs. Blending muckraking journalism and social history, Steinberg looks at both the lighter and the darker side of the all-American landscape, from mower accidents and pesticide poisonings to lawn-mower racing and the man so addicted to perfection that he re-created Augusta s 12th hole in his backyard. 40 illustrations. Bookseller Inventory # NLF9780393060843

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Book Description WW Norton Co, United States, 2006. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Americans are locked in a love-hate relationship with their lawns, and Ted Steinberg tells you why. The rise of the perfect lawn represents one of the most profound transformations in the history of the American landscape. Today the lawn is one of America s leading crops, outstripping cotton in acres by a factor of two. American Green, Ted Steinberg s witty expose of this sometimes bizarre phenomenon, traces the history of the lawn from its explosion in the postwar suburban community of Levittownjust miles from where Steinberg grew upto the present love affair with turf colorants, leaf blowers, and riding mowers. For half a century, Americans have been on a quest for the greenest, weed-free, ultra-trim turf imaginable. But perfection has its costs. Blending muckraking journalism and social history, Steinberg looks at both the lighter and the darker side of the all-American landscape, from mower accidents and pesticide poisonings to lawn-mower racing and the man so addicted to perfection that he re-created Augusta s 12th hole in his backyard. 40 illustrations. Bookseller Inventory # NLF9780393060843

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