Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the Garden
War is the natural occupation of man … war-and gardening. - Winston Churchill to Siegfried Sassoon, 1918
In the common public perception, contemporary gardening is understood as suburban, as leisure activity, as television makeover opportunity. Its origins are seen as religious or spiritual (Garden of Eden), military (the clipped lawn, the ha-ha and defensive ditches), aristocratic or monarchical (the stately home, the Royal Horticultural Society). Radical Gardening travels an alternative route, through history and across landscape, linking propagation with propaganda. For everyday garden life is not only patio, barbecue, white picket fence, topiary, herbaceous border.… From window box to veggie box, from political plot to flower power, this book uncovers and celebrates moments, movements, gestures, of a people's approach to gardens and gardening. It weaves together garden history with the counterculture, stories of individual plants with discussion of government policy, the social history of campaign groups with the pleasure and dirt of hands in the earth, as well as original interviews alongside media, pop and art references, to offer an informing and inspiring new take on an old subject.
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Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism & Rebellion in the GardenUser Review - Book Verdict
This is an eye-opening alternative study of agricultural, national, political, and social movements from around the world that are intrinsically linked to gardening. McKay (cultural studies, Univ. of Salford, England; Senseless Acts of Beauty: Cultures of Resistance Since the Sixties) highlights forgotten connections between radical movements of the past and environmental trends of today. He traces three intertwined meanings of the garden plot—the land, history, and politics—while discussing peace gardens, military and victory gardens, urban and rural gardens, and community gardens, allotments, and guerrilla gardening, among other topics. McKay notes the strong links between fascism and the organic movement in Britain and Germany and parallels the Garden City Movement of the early 20th century and fair trade environmentalism of today. His aim "to trace strands of idealism, rebellion, political action and social criticism in the garden historically and presently" is admirably achieved. The book is richly illustrated with photographs, posters, flyers, magazine covers, and drawings that capture the hands-on essence that, ultimately, is the fundamental stuff of gardening. VERDICT Highly recommended for gardeners interested in the broader context of their work, historians, and activists.—Donna L. Davey, New York Univ. Lib.
Review: Radical Gardening: Politics, Idealism and Rebellion in the GardenUser Review - Goodreads
Four stars is the highest rating I've ever given an academic work. The only reason it didn't receive five stars is that there were a few sections which I found a bit dry and hard to get through. I ...