Cover: Fruits and Plains: The Horticultural Transformation of America, from Harvard University PressCover: Fruits and Plains in HARDCOVER

Fruits and Plains

The Horticultural Transformation of America

Add to Cart

Product Details

HARDCOVER

$60.50 • £48.95 • €54.50

ISBN 9780674026636

Publication Date: 02/28/2008

Short

352 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

37 halftones, 6 line illustrations, 11 maps

World

The engineering of plants has a long history on this continent. Fields, forests, orchards, and prairies are the result of repeated campaigns by amateurs, tradesmen, and scientists to introduce desirable plants, both American and foreign, while preventing growth of alien riff-raff. These horticulturists coaxed plants along in new environments and, through grafting and hybridizing, created new varieties. Over the last 250 years, their activities transformed the American landscape.

“Horticulture” may bring to mind white-glove garden clubs and genteel lectures about growing better roses. But Philip J. Pauly wants us to think of horticulturalists as pioneer “biotechnologists,” hacking their plants to create a landscape that reflects their ambitions and ideals. Those standards have shaped the look of suburban neighborhoods, city parks, and the “native” produce available in our supermarkets.

In telling the histories of Concord grapes and Japanese cherry trees, the problem of the prairie and the war on the Medfly, Pauly hopes to provide a new understanding of not only how horticulture shaped the vegetation around us, but how it influenced our experiences of the native, the naturalized, and the alien—and how better to manage the landscapes around us.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2009 Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries Annual Literature Award, General Interest Category
[Stylized floral design in green/blue/orange over a warm beige background] A Summer of Discovery: Must-Reads / Join our mailing list for a chance to win books this July! / LEARN MORE

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene