Smith & Hawken: The Tool Book

Logan, William Bryant

Published by Workman Publishing Company, 1997
ISBN 10: 0761108556 / ISBN 13: 9780761108559
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Synopsis: The Garden Writers Association of America declared it best book of the year for 1998. And The New York Times wrote: "Logan, who is one of our best garden writers, has produced not only a real book but a scrupulously researched, handsomely designed, and highly enjoyable one to book."The Took Book celebrates garden tools in all their pleasure, practicality, variety, beauty, ingenuity, simplicity, and purity. Thirteen chapters and over 70 striking full-color photographic spreads-obsessive and obsessively informative-present hundreds of tools organized by task: 22 shovels, 21 spades, 12 trowels, 16 hoes, 11 weeders, 19 hand pruners, 10 pruning saws. In addition to garden tool necessities, here are knives, axes, hooks, watering cans, rakes, riddles, brooms, wheel barrows, shears, and scoops, and much more. There are tools to start the garden from seed in the spring, tools to keep it growing and healthy all summer, and tools clean up in the fall. And, finally, tools to care for the tools.

In addition, the the book presents a detailed overview of the marriage of tool to type of work-how garden tools evolved, how to use each type of tool properly, and what to look for in a tool. It's the right tool for the right job. 37,000 copies in print.

Review: At first glance The Tool Book might look like a dry catalogue of various garden tools, but it's actually a fresh and inspiring history lesson. Author William Bryant Logan carefully intersperses his detailed descriptions of hoes, mattocks, tining forks, or pruning saws with short meditations on the tool's evolution. In a chapter entitled "Digging," he writes, "The growth of civilization paralleled the evolution of the spade and the shovel." Behind the book, there's a vision of humanity constantly forging new technology to more carefully and effortlessly shape the landscape.

Amateur gardeners will learn the vast differences between cheap and expensive tools. Clear explanations of the differences between "stamping" and "forging" metal tools, and how to tell the difference, will change your perspective the next time you go to make a purchase. You will also learn why some handles are short and others are long, and why corn husks with their pointed tips led to the invention of the trowel. To Logan's credit, he understands that gardeners arbitrarily love certain tools and hate others, and thus his descriptions are objective--his book more an orientation than a lesson in the "right" way to garden. Packed with photos, The Tool Book is an essential text for anyone facing the daunting task of creating and maintaining a garden. --Emily White

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Title: Smith & Hawken: The Tool Book
Publisher: Workman Publishing Company
Publication Date: 1997
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Used: Good

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Logan, William Bryant
Published by Workman Publishing Company (1997)
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