Professor John R. Stilgoe

Author of book excerpted on

John is a professor of the History of Landscape Development at Harvard University. He has been a professor there since 1977 and has won awards for his writing and photography. See his Wikipedia page

John R Stilgoe, author at


Professor Stilgoe has traveled extensively through out the United States. He estimates that he has covered 800,000 miles. The photographs in his book Common Landscape of America confirms his geographic range of study.

He also restores and sails antique boats. And you may enjoy reading his "Secret History".

Education ought to work outdoors, in the rain and the sleet, in the knife-like heat of a summertime Nebraska wheat field, along a half-abandoned railroad track on a dark autumn afternoon, on the North Atlantic in winter. All that I do is urge my students and my readers to look around, to realize how wonderfully rich is the built environment, even if the environment is only a lifeboat close-hauled in a chiaroscuro sea.

Professor John R. Stilgoe in 2008

Books by John R Stilgoe

  • What is Landscape? (2015)
  • Train Time: Railroads and Imminent Landscape Change (2007)
  • Borderland: Origins of the American Suburb, 1820-1939 (1990)
  • Old Fields: Photography, Glamour, and Fantasy Landscape (2014)
  • Outside Lies Magic (1998)

Our featured Stilgoe article

The History of the Wheel Hoe