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The Good Gardener? Nature, Humanity, and the Garden illuminates humanity's deep-rooted impulse to manipulate the natural environment and create garden spaces ranging from subsistence plots to sites of philosophical speculation, refuge, and healing. This volume was designed as a companion volume to Earth Perfect? Nature, Utopia, and the Garden.
Can humans flourish without destroying the earth? In this book, experts on many of the world's major and minor religious traditions address the question of human and earth flourishing. Each chapter considers specific religious ideas and specific environmental harms. Chapters are paired and the authors work in dialogue with one another. Taken together, the chapters reveal that the question of flourishing is deceptively simple. Most would agree that humans should flourish without destroying the earth. But not all humans have equal opportunities to flourish. Additionally, on a basic physical level any human flourishing must, of necessity, cause some harm. These considerations of the price and distribution of flourishing raise unique questions about the status of humans and nature. This book represents a step toward reconciliation: that people and their ecosystems may live in peace, that people from different religious worldviews may engage in productive dialogue; in short, that all may flourish.
"World War II was the largest and most destructive conflict in human history. It was an existential struggle that pitted irreconcilable political systems and ideologies against one another across the globe in a decade of violence unlike any other. There is little doubt today that the United States had to engage in the fighting, especially after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. The conflict was, in the words of historians Allan Millett and Williamson Murray, "a war to be won." As the world's largest industrial power, the United States put forth a supreme effort to produce the weapons, munitions, and military formations essential to achieving victory. When the war finally ended, the finale signaled by atomic mushroom clouds over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, upwards of 60 million people had perished in the inferno. Of course, the human toll represented only part of the devastation; global environments also suffered greatly. The growth and devastation of the Second World War significantly changed American landscapes as well. The war created or significantly expanded a number of industries, put land to new uses, spurred urbanization, and left a legacy of pollution that would in time create a new term: Superfund site"--
Why do so many people love gardening? What does your garden say about you? What is guerrilla gardening? The Psychology of Gardening delves into the huge benefits that gardening can have on our health and emotional well-being, and how this could impact on the entire public health of a country. It also explores what our gardens can tell us about our personalities, how we can link gardening to mindfulness and restoration, and what motivates someone to become a professional gardener. With gardening being an ever popular pastime, The Psychology of Gardening provides a fascinating insight into our relationships with our gardens.
Garden writing is not just a place to find advice about roses and rutabagas; it also contains hidden histories of desire, hope, and frustration and tells a story about how Americans have invested grand fantasies in the common soil of everyday life. Gardenland chronicles the development of this genre across key moments in American literature and history, from nineteenth-century industrialization and urbanization to the twentieth-century rise of factory farming and environmental advocacy to contemporary debates about public space and social justice—even to the consideration of the future of humanity’s place on earth. In exploring the hidden landscape of desire in American gardens, Gardenland examines literary fiction, horticultural publications, and environmental writing, including works by Charles Dudley Warner, Henry David Thoreau, Willa Cather, Jamaica Kincaid, John McPhee, and Leslie Marmon Silko. Ultimately, Gardenland asks what the past century and a half of garden writing might tell us about our current social and ecological moment, and it offers surprising insight into our changing views about the natural world, along with realms that may otherwise seem remote from the world of leeks and hollyhocks.
Humans have long turned to gardens—both real and imaginary—for sanctuary from the frenzy and tumult that surrounds them. Those gardens may be as far away from everyday reality as Gilgamesh’s garden of the gods or as near as our own backyard, but in their very conception and the marks they bear of human care and cultivation, gardens stand as restorative, nourishing, necessary havens. With Gardens, Robert Pogue Harrison graces readers with a thoughtful, wide-ranging examination of the many ways gardens evoke the human condition. Moving from from the gardens of ancient philosophers to the gardens of homeless people in contemporary New York, he shows how, again and again, the garden has served as a check against the destruction and losses of history. The ancients, explains Harrison, viewed gardens as both a model and a location for the laborious self-cultivation and self-improvement that are essential to serenity and enlightenment, an association that has continued throughout the ages. The Bible and Qur’an; Plato’s Academy and Epicurus’s Garden School; Zen rock and Islamic carpet gardens; Boccaccio, Rihaku, Capek, Cao Xueqin, Italo Calvino, Ariosto, Michel Tournier, and Hannah Arendt—all come into play as this work explores the ways in which the concept and reality of the garden has informed human thinking about mortality, order, and power. Alive with the echoes and arguments of Western thought, Gardens is a fitting continuation of the intellectual journeys of Harrison’s earlier classics, Forests and The Dominion of the Dead. Voltaire famously urged us to cultivate our gardens; with this compelling volume, Robert Pogue Harrison reminds us of the nature of that responsibility—and its enduring importance to humanity. "I find myself completely besotted by a new book titled Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition, by Robert Pogue Harrison. The author . . . is one of the very best cultural critics at work today. He is a man of deep learning, immense generosity of spirit, passionate curiosity and manifold rhetorical gifts."—Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune "This book is about gardens as a metaphor for the human condition. . . . Harrison draws freely and with brilliance from 5,000 years of Western literature and criticism, including works on philosophy and garden history. . . . He is a careful as well as an inspiring scholar."—Tom Turner, Times Higher Education "When I was a student, my Cambridge supervisor said, in the Olympian tone characteristic of his kind, that the only living literary critics for whom he would sell his shirt were William Empson and G. Wilson Knight. Having spent the subsequent 30 years in the febrile world of academic Lit. Crit. . . . I’m not sure that I’d sell my shirt for any living critic. But if there had to be one, it would unquestionably be Robert Pogue Harrison, whose study Forests: The Shadow of Civilization, published in 1992, has the true quality of literature, not of criticism—it stays with you, like an amiable ghost, long after you read it. “Though more modest in scope, this new book is similarly destined to become a classic. It has two principal heroes: the ancient philosopher Epicurus . . . and the wonderfully witty Czech writer Karel Capek, apropos of whom it is remarked that, whereas most people believe gardening to be a subset of life, ‘gardeners, including Capek, understand that life is a subset of gardening.’”—Jonathan Bate, The Spectator

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