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Ted Steinberg is Adeline Barry Davee Distinguished Professor of History and Law at Case Western Reserve University

Inclou el nom: Theodore Steinberg

Obres de Ted Steinberg


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A look at the ecological history of paved-over Greater New York City. The story is one of unending fill dropped onto the estuaries and seashore. Large natural oyster beds disappeared, along with all the other wildlife of the city. Fish were forced out of the local waters by lowering oxygen levels, replaced by different species in smaller numbers. In the end, 2012's Hurricane Sandy slashed through reclaimed areas while laughing at the minor efforts made to counter storm damage and flooding, largely ignored by an attitude that expansion potential is unlimited. Of course, even after Sandy, developers continue to promote expansion and reclamation, murmuring about the Dutch reclamation model. An interesting look at the history of the era that largely bypasses the people and the politics but shows the impact of both on the land and the non-human life that existed there, aside from those people who lived off that land and were ignored, victims of ambition, greed, and the Greater Good. A valuable look at the impact of the city's expansion, although I wonder if it is avoidable. New York was perhaps the victim of its obvious value as a potential seaport. There seems to be a certain inevitability in what happened. And with ambitious egomaniacs like Trump roosting in the city throughout its history, how can the outcome have been different? Illustrated with no photos but numerous maps from different periods of development.… (més)
NickHowes | Feb 4, 2016 |
This is great summertime reading. Social and cultural history at its best.

This spring I acquired a Big Green Monster along with my house. I also got a citation from the police department when the height of my lawn went over the limit prescribed by the city ordnance. With this experience I learned that I have to feed, water, and trim my Big Green Monster, or the government will make me pay hefty fines. Thus, my interest in "The Lawn."

The author puts writes this heavy hitting book in a lighthearted style that belies its serious content. The book is 295 pages and has approximately 50 pages of footnotes that back up what is written. There is also 15 pages of index so the book is not overly long. The author raises some serious questions that range from the economics of the business of lawn care to the impact of the lawn obsession on class and immigration issues. There is more to the American lawn than meets the eye and this author explores the issues, if not thoroughly, at least he give the reader enough information to go and find out more with the extensive footnotes and bibliography.

The author starts out with a history of the American lawn and this is a breezy overview that is as refreshing as sitting on a patio with a glass of something cold contemplating the deep green of a well tended lawn. He then covers environmental issues as well as economic and business issues, with chapters on safety and emissions standards, or the lack thereof, on common lawn care equipment such as mowers, leaf blowers, and weed whackers. It is enough to make the most avowed anti-environmentalist start to wonder about why he spends so much time and money on grass. As much as a history of the American lawn this is a social and cultural history that makes for fun and fascinating reading to be enjoyed with feet propped up and cold drink in hand.
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benitastrnad | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jun 17, 2013 |
Ted Steinberg’s American Green details the history of the lawn in the United States. From the first mass suburbs in Leavittown, New York to the modern golf course, Steinberg writes about how the lawn has been imprinted on our consciousness as an extension of the American dream.

But, he is not completely in love with the idea of a perfect lawn. Most of the arguments in the book set out to disprove 80 years of lawn history. And with good science to back him up to boot. Many of the steps we take to ensure that our lawns have a luscious green veneer actually serve to destroy the soil, poison waterfowl, and injure our citizens. Unfortunately, the arguments laid out in this volume are not balanced, but it will shake you out of your standard thinking.

I’d like to think that I could be as valiant as some of the lawn revolutionaries in this book, but if we employed just a few of the ideas here, then I think we might be able break free from some our landscape drudgery.
… (més)
NielsenGW | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 17, 2012 |
One of a small group of environmental historians, the author provides fascinating details and insights into U.S. History through the viewpoint of environmental episodes. Learn how natural conditions and mankind's impact have interacted and affected American life. Learn more from a review by E. Voves, "Informing the Debate" in January Magazine. (lj)… (més)
eduscapes | Apr 22, 2010 |


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