Discovering the Vernacular Landscape

John Brinckerhoff Jackson

View Inside Price: $24.00


September 10, 1986
180 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
ISBN: 9780300035810
Paper

A pioneer in landscape studies takes us on a tour of landscapes past and present to show how our surroundings reflect our culture.

“No one who cares deeply about landscape issues can overlook the scores of brilliant insights and challenges to the mind, eye and conscience contained in Discovering the Vernacular Landscape. It is a book to be deeply cherished and to be read and pondered many times.”—Wilbur Zelinsky, Landscape

“While it is fashionable to speak of man as alienated from his environment, Mr. Jackson shows us all the ties that bind us to it, consciously or unconsciously. He teaches us to speak intelligently—rather than polemically or wistfully—of the sense of place.”—Anatole Broyard, New York Times

“This book is a vital and seminal text: do beg, borrow or buy it.”—Robert Holden, Landscape Design (London)

“Incisive and overpoweringly influential. It will probably tell you something about how you live that you’ve never thought about.”—Thomas Hine, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“No one can come close to Jackson in his unique combination of historical scholarship and field experience, in his deep knowledge of European high culture as well as of American trailer parks, in his archivist’s nose for the unusual fact and his philosopher’s mind for the trenchant, surprising question.”—Yi-Fu Tuan

"No one can come close to Jackson in his unique combination of historical scholarship and field experience, in his deep knowledge of European high culture as well as of American trailer parks, in his archivist's nose for the unusual fact and his philosopher's mind for the trenchant, surprising question."—Yi-fu Tuan
 

"[A] brilliant collection of insights—essential reading for Jackson's many admirers and for anyone seriously interested in the art of landscape."—Denis Cosgrove, Landscape Research 
  

"No one who cares deeply about landscape issues can overlook the scores of brilliant insights and challenges to the mind, eye and conscience contained in Discovering the Vernacular Landscape.  It is a book to be deeply cherished and to be read and pondered many times."—Wilbur Zelinsky, Landscape
 

"It is not simply the look of things that concerns [Jackson]: it is the whole complex of myth and symbol and habitual experience that lie behind appearances. The artificiality of all landscapes, vernacular no less than political, is one his recurrent motifs. . . .  Jackson's own vernacular style, unlike the vernacular discussed in the book, bears the hallmarks of an intensely crafted form."—David Lowenthal, Geographical Review

This book is a vital and seminal text: do beg, borrow or buy it."—Robert Holden, Landscape Design 
 

"Incisive and overpoweringly influential.  It will probably tell you something about how you live that you've never thought about."—Thomas Hine, Philadelphia Inquirer
 

"I have wanted people to become familiar with the contemporary American landscape and to recognize its extraordinary complexity and beauty. . . . Its commonplace aspects the streets and houses and fields and places of work, teach us not only a great deal about American history and American society but about ourselves and how we relate to the world. It is a matter of learning how to see."—J.B. Jackson

"These essays reveal an enormous range of knowledge and experience from the most eclectic kind of reading and traveling. Jackson's thinking is like his writing—lucid, provocative, deceptively simple, and utterly without cant."—Peirce Lewish, Pennsylvania State University

"While it is fashionable to speak of man as alienated from his environment, Mr. Jackson shows us all the ties that bind us to it, consciously or unconsciously. He teaches us to speak intelligently—rather that polemically or wistfully—of the sense of place. It's as if he is telling us that we haven't made quite as much a mess of things as we may have feared."—Anatole Broyard, The New York Times

"As he has done most of his life in writings and lectures, Jackson once again is making his reader or listener take another look at the passing landscape, however ugly, and see its potential for beauty."—Sam Hall Kaplan, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"A series of essays that draw from a variety of disciplines to produce startling insights. . . . Jackson is provocative in his attempt to find good points in buildings and landscapes that are often scorned. He excels in telling how the country is being physically transformed."—Philip Langdon, Historic Presentation

"In the careful reading of his work, at the very core of the onion, are conceptual tools that should help us not only to appreciate landscapes but to shape them wisely. A powerful legacy, from a unique man. We shall not see his like again."—Robert B. Riley, Landscape Journal

"Unlike most professional writers on humanized landscapes about it. . . . In all the book is a delight. For new readers of J.B. Jackson, this volume provides a good introduction to his concerns and his craft."—C.L. Salter, Journal of Historical Geography