Landscape in Sight: Looking at America / Edition 1

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During a long and distinguished career, John Brinckerhoff Jackson (1909-1996) brought about a new understanding and appreciation of the American landscape. Jackson founded Landscape Magazine in 1951, taught at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley, and wrote nearly two hundred essays and reviews. This appealing anthology of his most important writings on the American landscape, illustrated with his own sketches and photographs, brings together Jackson's most famous essays, significant but less well known writings, and articles that were originally published unsigned or under various pseudonyms. Jackson also completed a new essay for this volume, "Places for Fun and Games," a few months before his death.
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A large and varied sampler of essays by the late doyen of American cultural geography, who died in 1996.

To judge by this well-edited assemblage, spanning half a century, Jackson ("Brink" to friends and students) never saw a landscape he didn't like. He writes with the high excitement of discovery and boosterism. An intellectual who, trained in the classical arts of Europe, came late to appreciate the vernacular style of, say, a Vermont farmhouse or a New Mexico adobe, Jackson championed the cause of the native in all its manifestations. Thus we have his notes on "helix sports," a lovely term for surfing, snowboarding, sailing, and the other "sports of mobility"; his careful study of the transformation of the American backyard and garage from places of work to places of private recreation (and, now that garages are being remade into home offices, to places of work once again); his thoughtful remarks on the best uses of shared spaces, of "learning to use them in a temporary way in order to overcome both the old-fashioned biological exclusiveness and the more modern emphasis on competition and control." Jackson exhibits any number of well-considered prejudices, among them a liking for not-too-orderly urban centers; at one point, he proposes that the Ford Foundation give grants to students of city planning with the condition that "for a year they would look at no picture books of Brave New Sweden and spend the time instead in the heart of some chaotic, unredeemed, ancient city." Editor Horowitz, a historian at Smith College, recounts Jackson's career as a freelance scholar, reminding us that, as a self-taught geographer, he was always held in some mistrust by the academy.

Highly recommended for geographers and students of the American scene.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300080742
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2000
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 704,831
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

J. B. Jackson and the Discovery of the American Landscape
Editor's Note
Editor's Acknowledgments
Places for Fun and Games 1
The Stranger's Path 19
The Almost Perfect Town 31
Chihuahua as We Might Have Been 43
Looking at New Mexico 55
The Accessible Landscape 68
The Westward-Moving House 81
Ghosts at the Door 107
The Domestication of the Garage 118
The Virginia Heritage: Fencing, Farming, and Cattle Raising 129
The Nineteenth-Century Rural Landscape: The Courthouse, the Small College, the Mineral Springs, and the Country Store 139
Excerpt from American Space: The Centennial Years 149
High Plains 160
From Monument to Place 163
Jefferson, Thoreau, and After 175
Other-Directed Houses 185
The Abstract World of the Hot-Rodder 199
The Movable Dwelling and How It Came to America 210
An Engineered Environment 225
The Vernacular City 237
Roads Belong in the Landscape (abridged) 249
Truck City 255
Review of Built in U.S.A. (H. G. West) 277
Living Outdoors with Mrs. Panther (Ajax) 281
Hail and Farewell 285
Southeast to Turkey 289
From "Whither Architecture? Some Outside Views" 292
The Word Itself 299
By Way of Conclusion: How to Study the Landscape 307
The Tale of a House (Ajax) 321
Notes and Comments 333
To Pity the Plumage and Forget the Dying Bird 355
"Sterile" Restorations Cannot Replace a Sense of the Stream of Time 366
Permissions 371
Notes 373
Bibliography 377
Index 393
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