Main Events

Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 6:00pm

Victoria Johnson will be joining us on Tuesday, July 9th to discuss her book, American Eden. This is a free wine and cheese event and reservation are requested. To RSVP please call us at 231.347.1180, email us at events@mcleanandeakin.com or via Facebook or Eventbrite. 

On a clear morning in July 1804, Alexander Hamilton stepped onto a boat at the edge of the Hudson River. He was bound for a New Jersey dueling ground to settle his bitter dispute with Aaron Burr. Hamilton took just two men with him: his "second" for the duel, and Dr. David Hosack.

As historian Victoria Johnson reveals in her groundbreaking biography, Hosack was one of the few points the duelists did agree on. Summoned that morning because of his role as the beloved Hamilton family doctor, he was also a close friend of Burr. A brilliant surgeon and a world-class botanist, Hosack--who until now has been lost in the fog of history--was a pioneering thinker who shaped a young nation.

Born in New York City, he was educated in Europe and returned to America inspired by his newfound knowledge. He assembled a plant collection so spectacular and diverse that it amazes botanists today, conducted some of the first pharmaceutical research in the United States, and introduced new surgeries to American. His tireless work championing public health and science earned him national fame and praise from the likes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander von Humboldt, and the Marquis de Lafayette.

One goal drove Hosack above all others: to build the Republic's first botanical garden. Despite innumerable obstacles and near-constant resistance, Hosack triumphed when, by 1810, his Elgin Botanic Garden at last crowned twenty acres of Manhattan farmland. "Where others saw real estate and power, Hosack saw the landscape as a pharmacopoeia able to bring medicine into the modern age" (Eric W. Sanderson, author of Mannahatta). Today what remains of America's first botanical garden lies in the heart of midtown, buried beneath Rockefeller Center.

Whether collecting specimens along the banks of the Hudson River, lecturing before a class of rapt medical students, or breaking the fever of a young Philip Hamilton, David Hosack was an American visionary who has been too long forgotten. Alongside other towering figures of the post-Revolutionary generation, he took the reins of a nation. In unearthing the dramatic story of his life, Johnson offers a lush depiction of the man who gave a new voice to the powers and perils of nature.

Victoria Johnson is Associate Professor of Urban Policy and Planning at Hunter College of the City University of New York, where she teaches on nonprofits, arts management, and the history of New York City. She earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy from Yale in 1991 and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia in 2002. Before joining Hunter College in 2015, she taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for thirteen years. Check out her beautiful website here at www.americaneden.org 


 

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 2:00pm

Aaron Stander will be in the store signing copies of his latest Ray Elkins Thriller, The Center Cannot Hold, on Wednesday, July 10th from 2:00-4:00pm. This is a free signing. 

In the depths of winter, Cedar County is on occasion literally frozen in place. Roads are impassable; the area schools are closed for days at a time. And the bad guys and gals, they're hunkered down like everyone else until the weather breaks. But this winter isn't the usual. There's arson and murder. The iniquities of some particularly unsavory ancestors are being visited upon the current generation.

AARON STANDER spent most of his adult years in the Detroit area, where he taught English and trained writing teachers. In 2000 he and his wife left college teaching positions and moved permanently to their cottage near Traverse City.

He is also the author of numerous articles, stories, poems, and reviews, and the host of Michigan Writers on the Air  on Interlochen Public Radio. When not writing or thinking about writing, Aaron spends a lot of time in his kayak.

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