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American Green: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn.

AMERICAN GREEN: The Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Lawn TED STEINBERG

Maintaining the ideal lawn is a constant battle against crabgrass, drought, weeds, and lawn-destroying vermin. It takes gas-powered machines, potent fertilizers, and nasty herbicides. Yet many home owners wage this war with enthusiasm. Historian Steinberg examines the evolution of America's obsession with the perfect lawn and reveals how turf grass, which isn't native to North America, became the most popular crop in the united States. He traces the lawn's history from early colonists, who transplanted turf from England, to its proliferation among post-World War II conformist suburbanites, with humor and wit, Steinberg reveals the whimsical side of lawn care, from checkerboard lawn designs to the home owner who transformed his yard into the 12th hole at Augusta National Golf Course. This obsession with turf, however, has a darker side, the author says. The pesticides and fertilizers deemed necessary for a perfect lawn threaten the health of people, animals, and the environment in general. Steinberg offers suggestions for a more balanced approach to lawn care. Norton, 2006, 224 p., b&w photos, hardcover, $24.95.
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Title Annotation:Books: A selection of new and notable books of scientific interest
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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