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Dinner & A Book - The Founding Gardeners

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Episode #1103 - The Founding Gardeners

Join me and my guest, Emma Wynn, as we discuss The Founding Gardeners by Andrea Wulf. You will discover the gardening habits of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison in this fascinating book, a portrait of our founding fathers as they’ve never before been seen, on Dinner and a Book.

For the founding fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. Andrea Wulf reveals for the first time this aspect of the revolutionary generation. She describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism. These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution.

Original Airdate: January 21, 2012