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Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard: A Cultural History
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Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard: A Cultural History

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  39 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Johnny Appleseed and the American Orchard illuminates the meaning of Johnny "Appleseed" Chapman’s life and the environmental and cultural significance of the plant he propagated. Creating a startling new portrait of the eccentric apple tree planter, William Kerrigan carefully dissects the oral tradition of the Appleseed myth and draws upon material from archives and local ...more
Paperback, 248 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Johns Hopkins University Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food-related
One reviewer has criticized the "academic flavor" of this book and dismissed it as a "giant term paper." I recently read Howard Means' _Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, the American Story_. Means' is certainly an enjoyable (and easier) read, written in a more popular style. However, Kerrigan does a much better job putting John Chapman/Johnny Appleseed in to geographic, social, and political context. Many assumptions have to be made about Chapman/Appleseed given the few first or second-hand s ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
Kerrigan's exploration of John Chapman's life and the mythology surrounding him is insightful. His defense of Chapman's choice for seeds over grafted trees makes good sense. Some more recent work on indigenous horticultural practices challenges his characterization, but Kerrigan also shares information on the more obvious European-model orchards adopted by some of the Iroquois relatively early in colonial history. Good conversations to be had from and around this book.
Jun 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Goodreads
Recommended to Emmett by: Goodreads
Shelves: 2013-read, favorites
A highly readable account of the life Johnny Appleseed. William Kerrigan explores the legand and the man as a nurseryman, pacifist, missionary, businessman, conservationalist, and minimalist. I recommend it with five stars!

Gregg Sapp
Jul 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Before mass media and the Internet, there was folklore. (Whether folklore, in the sense of conveying a traditional cultural narrative, is facilitated, transformed, superseded or destroyed by the Internet is an argument for another day.) Stories about folkloric characters usually say more about the cultures that produce them than they do about the individuals themselves. That’s why the standard mythology about Johnny Appleseed is so unique. A pacifist, vegetarian, uneducated, impoverished, altrui ...more
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was ok
I was turned off, immediately, but the statement in the Preface that highlighted "domestication of a continent and North America". I am one of those who disagree with the notion of Manifest Destiny. You'd think I'd agree with the Johnny Appleseed notion on non-violence. I was raised in another country so Johnny Appleseed barely touched the map of my education. If they're throwing it down the children's throats, . . . well, I'm taking it at face value.

I was disgusted with the academic flavor of t
Mia Sheppard
I thought this book was a great book for people who don't have parents. This book can almost teach you how to survive if you don't have loving to help you get through life parents. Something I wish was different about the book is that I wish that it had pictures about all of johnny's great achievments. I would recommend this book to people like adventure. This book has a lot of adventures stuff in it. I am pretty sure a little kid would enjoy all the adventure. This book may also change peoples ...more
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A thoughtful and innovative reexamination of the life of John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed) and the later creation of the Johnny Appleseed myth. Kerrigan grounds his book in extensive and dogged research but also weaves a subtle and highly readable account of Chapman's story and the place of the American orchard and the Appleseed story in the saga of the taming and transformation of the American frontier.
Jan 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not much of a history buff, but this was a decent read. It's more an early history of Ohio, combined with a biography of John (Johnny Appleseed) Chapman. Extensively researched. Very comprehensive.
Oct 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I will use this story in my classroom to teach sequencing of events, we will make a timeline of johnny Appleseed adventures throughout the story.
Drew Shifley
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Nov 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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William Kerrigan spent his earliest years in the midwest, where he tasted bitter disappointment when he lost the role of "Johnny Appleseed" in the first grade pageant to a boy named Hal. After spending decades in the wilderness of the American West and South, he returned to Ohio to take a position as a professor of History at a small liberal arts college. That relocation renewed his interest in th ...more

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