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Back to nature : the Arcadian myth in urban America

Author: Peter J Schmitt
Publisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990, ©1969.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Peter J. Schmitt describes the many ways in which America's urban middle class became involved with nature from the turn of the century to shortly after World War I, and he assesses the influence of the "Arcadian myth" on American culture. With sympathy and gently irony, he surveys the manifestations of the American love affair with the country: summer camps, the beginnings of wildlife protection and the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Schmitt, Peter J.
Back to nature.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990, ©1969
(OCoLC)605519320
Online version:
Schmitt, Peter J.
Back to nature.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990, ©1969
(OCoLC)606518949
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter J Schmitt
ISBN: 0801840139 9780801840135
OCLC Number: 20759103
Notes: Reprint. Originally published: New York : Oxford University Press, 1969. Originally published in series: Urban life in America series.
Description: xxv, 236 pages ; 22 cm
Responsibility: Peter J. Schmitt ; foreword by John R. Stilgoe.

Abstract:

Peter J. Schmitt describes the many ways in which America's urban middle class became involved with nature from the turn of the century to shortly after World War I, and he assesses the influence of the "Arcadian myth" on American culture. With sympathy and gently irony, he surveys the manifestations of the American love affair with the country: summer camps, the beginnings of wildlife protection and the conservation crusade, landscaped cemeteries, "Christian ornithology", and wilderness novels. The Arcadian drive reflected urban values, as the city-dweller sought virtue in nature. Landscape gardening, country clubs, national parks, and scenic turnoffs imposed the industrial ethic of order, neatness, and regularity on natural landscapes. Nature study and anthropomorphic animal stories taught moral values to children.

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The subject has needed detailed treatment for years, and I always expected the definitive study would be accomplished by a naturalist. But Peter Schmitt is a historian, and it's probably better that Read more...

 
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