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Founding Gardeners: Book summary and reviews of Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf

Founding Gardeners

The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation

by Andrea Wulf

Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf X
Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf
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Book Summary

From the author of the acclaimed The Brother Gardeners, a fascinating look at the founding fathers from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen, and farmers.

For the founding fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. Andrea Wulf reveals for the first time this aspect of the revolutionary generation. She describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram's garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.
Founding Gardeners
adds depth and nuance to our understanding of the American experiment and provides us with a portrait of the founding fathers as they’ve never before been seen.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Detailed botanical descriptions, garden layouts, and crop yields of their estates may appeal more to fans of horticulture than of history, but Wulf offers a delightful new perspective on the men we usually associate more with politics than with plants." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Wulf's scholarship, passion and pleasing prose make for a happy combination: a history book for gardeners, a gardening book for historians...A fresh look at the Founders that charms even as it irresistibly convinces." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Andrea Wulf Author Biography

Photo: Antonina Gern

Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She lives in London, where she trained as a design historian at the Royal College of Art. She is the author of Chasing Venus, Founding Gardeners, and The Brother Gardeners, which was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and awarded the American Horticultural Society Book Award. She has written for The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times. She appears regularly on radio and TV, and in 2014 copresented British Gardens in Time, a four-part series on BBC television

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