A return to America's Eden

“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.

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.

Create a More Connected Minnesota

MPR News is your trusted resource for the news you need. With your support, MPR News brings accessible, courageous journalism and authentic conversation to everyone - free of paywalls and barriers. Your gift makes a difference.