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A return to America's Eden

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“American Eden” by Victoria Johnson.
"American Eden" by Victoria Johnson.
Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

He was a personal physician to both Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, a brilliant professor, and the creator of America's first botanical garden. But the fascinating story of David Hosack has largely been lost to history — until now.

Author and historian Victoria Johnson discovered Hosack and unearthed his story in "American Eden: David Hosack, Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic," a book that was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for nonfiction. In it, Johnson transports readers 200 years in the past, to a backwater town called New York City that Hosack championed because he believed it could be a great cultural center someday.

Victoria Johnson, the author of "American Eden," joined guest host Stephanie Curtis to discuss an American who influenced botany, culture and medical research.

Guest:
Victoria Johnson is an associate professor of urban policy and planning at Hunter College in New York and the author of "American Eden: David Hosack, Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic"

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.