Turf War : The New Yorker

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2008/07/21/080721crbo_books_kolbert?currentPage=all


Tracing as far back as the 1841 publication of Andrew Jackson Downing’s Treatise on the Theory and Practice of Landscape Gardening, Elizabeth Kolbert writes about the obsession Americans have for lawns.

It’s quite a fascinating read. See, in Downing’s treatise, he was horrified to find that Americans still had pigs rooting outside and around their homes. He urged his fellow men to try out grass instead.

Kolbert also discussed a recent trend growing in urban areas: lawns being dug up to grow vegetables. However, it also includes a harrowing examination of the effects of the chemicals that people have used and poured onto their lawns throughout the years.

This article provides a look into how American citizens feel about the “natural” environment. It discusses the nature of people’s relationship to dirt, and how the culture conditions this kind of relationship.

An essential must-read for all.

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