paper, 186 pp., $23.95
This book on the influence of lawn cultivation in the United States might justly be subtitled “the tyranny of lawns.” It dwells on the influence of lawn care on American society, describing how a large segment of the population appears driven to create the “perfect” lawn. This perfection affects decisions that ultimately influence the economy, politics, and the environment. Author Paul Robbins examines the subject in a very exhaustive text that stresses “the tension between our many contradictory desires.” In a society where the goals of consumers seem to be based on claiming ownership of the best of everything — both in goods and for the environment — conflicting pressures are bound to strain lives and relationships.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden