Gardens: An Essay on the Human Condition

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Humans have long turned to gardens - both real and imaginary - for sanctuary from the frenzy and tumult that surrounds them. With Gardens , Robert Pogue Harrison graces readers with a thoughtful, wide-ranging examination of the many ways gardens evoke the human condition. Moving from the gardens of ancient philosophers to the gardens of homeless people in contemporary New York, he shows how, again and again, the garden has served as a check against the destruction and losses of history. Alive with the echoes and arguments of Western thought, Gardens is a fitting continuation of the intellectual journeys of Harrison's earlier classics, Forests and The Dominion of the Dead . Voltaire famously urged us to cultivate our gardens; with this compelling volume, Harrison reminds us of the nature of that responsibility - and its enduring importance to humanity.