The Library of American Landscape History has made the following books available in time for the 200th anniversary of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birthday.
Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea
Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr
The dawn of public parks is one of the dramatic products of the turbulent decade during which the United States engaged in a civil war, abolished slavery, and remade the government. The authors set the record straight with a new interpretation of how the American park— urban and national— came to figure so prominently in our cultural identity, and why this more complex and inclusive story so closely linked to the Civil War, abolition, and Olmsted’s 1865 Yosemite Report, must now be told.
The book has inspired several recent webinars, including Olmsted 200’s latest Conversations with Olmsted. The recording can be found on the National Association for Olmsted Parks’ YouTube here.
Purchase online: https://amzn.to/3JN3JMf
Walks and Talks of an American Farmer in England
Frederick Law Olmsted, with an introduction by Charles C. McLaughlin
Olmsted’s narrative of his month-long walking tour of rural England in 1850— at turns poetic, funny, critical, and meticulous— is an important historical document, revealing the extent to which England permeated almost every aspect of Olmsted’s emerging worldview, soon to find expression in his various careers as scientific farmer, author, reformer, administrator, and landscape architect of major parks throughout the United States.
Purchase online: https://amzn.to/3wKLXFI
This article first appeared in the April 1, 2022, issue of Field Notes by the National Association for Olmsted Parks.