Frederick Law Olmsted
John C. Inscoe
(University of Georgia)
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Although Frederick Law Olmsted is best remembered as a premier landscape architect, it is The Cotton Kingdom that historians regard as an equally significant part of his legacy. In this volume, John C. Inscoe makes Olmsted’s classic work accessible to student audiences for the first time. The Introduction places Olmsted’s personal history in the broader context of sectional conflict, and the selections are organized chronologically and geographically to reveal the extent of Olmsted’s travels and his appreciation of the multiplicity of the antebellum Southern experience. A chronology, questions to consider, and bibliography enrich students’ understanding of the conflicts over slavery in the critical decade of the 1850s.
The Cotton Kingdom makes the work accessible and suitable for classroom use, possibly for the first time. I know of no other edition of Olmsted's book that effectively presents it in a form for undergraduate courses.Mark Elliott, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
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