Patrick Geddes (1854-1932) was a polymath. Gardener, biologist, conservationist, town planner, warrior for peace, social evolutionist; he achieved an incredible amount for one man. This book takes a new look at Geddes' life, drawing on newly discovered material to try to come to an understanding of Geddes' drive and success. How much of an anarchist was he? How influential were his home and childhood experiences? Why did he change his name and why - until the publication of this book - was his birth site shrouded in mystery? 'He was one of the outstanding thinkers of his generation, not merely in the world, and not only one of the greatest Scotsmen of the past century but in our entire history.' - Hugh Macdiarmid. 'One might get the impression that Professor Geddes is a vigorous institution, rather than a man.' - Lewis Mumford.
A Vigorous Institution