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January 18 @ 8:00 pm
This illustrated lecture by historian Victoria Johnson features her acclaimed new book, American Eden, a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a New York Times Notable Book of 2018. When Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr met on a dueling ground in July 1804, they chose the same attending physician: David Hosack. Family doctor and friend to both men, Hosack is today a shadowy figure at the edge of a famous duel, the great achievements of his life forgotten. But in 1801, on twenty acres of Manhattan farmland, Hosack founded the first public botanical garden in the new nation, amassing a spectacular collection of medicinal, agricultural, and ornamental plants that brought him worldwide praise from the likes of Thomas Jefferson, Sir Joseph Banks, and Alexander von Humboldt. Hosack used his pioneering institution to train the next generation of American doctors and naturalists and to conduct some of the first pharmaceutical research in the United States. Today, his former garden is the site of Rockefeller Center. The New York Times writes, “Hosack’s Columbia lectures were…‘as good as the theater,’ and so is Johnson’s storytelling.”
*This event is free, but requires registration on Eventbrite. Books & Books honors those who take the time to register for tickets, in advance, and will be checking tickets at the door. First come, first served. Seats are guaranteed until 15 minutes before the start of the talk, at 7:45pm, when we open up any seating that is still available to everyone.
About the Author:
Victoria Johnson is an associate professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College of the City University of New York. Before joining Hunter College, she taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for thirteen years. She has been a Fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and a Mellon Visiting Scholar at the New York Botanical Garden. She earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale University and her PhD in sociology from Columbia University.