Architects of an American Landscape, a readable, intelligently paced dual biography, is the literary equivalent of a rolling, Olmstedian greensward. By the final chapter, the reader fully appreciates the short, productive life of Richardson (1838-86), whom Henry Adams, the intimate of senators and presidents, called 'the only really big man I ever knew.' The Olmsted material feels like a welcome bonus, with erudite retellings of his conservation work in the Yosemite Valley, his pioneering efforts in forestry management for the Vanderbilts’ Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and of course his many collaborations with Richardson ... There is one question that Mr. Howard doesn’t answer satisfactorily: Why has the Richardsonian aesthetic faded so quickly? Why does the author’s beloved subject so need resurrection? ... excellent ... Mr. Howard makes a strong case that we should give Richardson’s prodigious accomplishments an educated second look.