Catalogue

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Crabgrass frontier : the suburbanization of the United States /
Kenneth T. Jackson.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1985.
description
x, 396 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195036107 :
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1985.
isbn
0195036107 :
catalogue key
3232926
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
Bancroft Prize, USA, 1986 : Won
Francis Parkman Prize, USA, 1986 : Won
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 1985-09-01:
Urban historian Jackson offers an interpretive history of the suburbanization of America over the last three centuries. He is at his best in discussing the first suburban surge in the middle decades of the 19th century, a development dependent on an emerging ideal of the detached, private house and such innovations in transportation as the electric railway or ``trolley'' car. The 20th-century automobile would have an even greater impact and make the United States a predominantly suburban nation by 1970. Jackson also assesses the roles of land developers, permissive government policies, and the relationship of racism to suburban flight. Despite some repetitiousness, the author has produced an outstanding book, also placing U.S. suburbanization in international perspective. Recommended. Donald J. Murphy, History Dept., Humboldt St. Univ., Arcata, Cal. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 1986-01:
One of the most important books on American history and urbanization that has been written since WW II. By chronicling the evolution of the American suburb, Jackson has filled a major gap in the literature of the urban US. Jackson has been widely recognized for years as an expert in this sphere. In this book he brilliantly integrates his own research plus findings from at least five social sciences to produce the definitive work on this subject. The clarity of the writing and the perceptiveness of the interpretation are truly remarkable. Suburban history is organized into a number of developmental stages-many of them parallel-and Jackson manages to carry them all forward without losing sight of the central threads of his narrative. The book is particularly handsome, and is enhanced by splendid photographs and illustrations. The bibliographical material is quite thorough. In all, a magnificent work on the background of one of the most significant features of contemporary America. A major sourcebook for scholars, the work is equally appealing to general readers. All academic and major public libraries.-P.O. Muller, University of Miami
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews,
Library Journal, September 1985
Choice, January 1986
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Summaries
Long Description
In America, in contrast to almost anywhere else in the world, the good life means traveling a long distance to get to work. How and why this came to be our cultural norm is the subject of this long-awaited book. Because more than two-thirds of all dwellings are single family homes surrounded by an ornamental yard, suburbia is the most distinctive physical characteristic of modern American society. Crabgrass Frontier is the first book to trace the growth of suburbs in America from their origins in the 1820's--in Brooklyn Heights opposite Manhattan--until the present day. Combining social history with economic and architectural history, the book discusses suburban communities in every section of the country as well as making comparisons with Europe and Japan. Jackson considers such intriguing questions as why transportation technology changed the shape of American cities more than European ones, why the family room and the television set replaced the stoop and the street as the focus of social interaction, how the evolution of the garage reflected increasing affection for the automobile, how federal housing programs undermined inner city neighborhoods, and how government policies insured the collapse of the nation's once superb mass transit system. The book shows not only that Americans have long preferred a detached dwelling to a row house, rural life to city life, and owning to renting, but also that suburbanization has been as much a governmental as a natural process. About the Author: Kenneth T. Jackson is a Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of The Ku Klux Klan in the City.
Main Description
In America, in contrast to almost anywhere else in the world, the good life means traveling a long distance to get to work. How and why this came to be our cultural norm is the subject of this long-awaited book. Because more than two-thirds of all dwellings are single family homes surrounded by an ornamental yard, suburbia is the most distinctive physical characteristic of modern American society. Crabgrass Frontier is the first book to trace the growth of suburbs in America from their origins in the 1820's--in Brooklyn Heights opposite Manhattan--until the present day. Combining social history with economic and architectural history, the book discusses suburban communities in every section of the country as well as making comparisons with Europe and Japan. Jackson considers such intriguing questions as why transportation technology changed the shape of American cities more than European ones, why the family room and the television set replaced the stoop and the street as the focus of social interaction, how the evolution of the garage reflected increasing affection for the automobile, how federal housing programs undermined inner city neighborhoods, and how government policies insured the collapse of the nation's once superb mass transit system. The book shows not only that Americans have long preferred a detached dwelling to a row house, rural life to city life, and owning to renting, but also that suburbanization has been as much a governmental as a natural process. About the Author : Kenneth T. Jackson is a Professor of History at Columbia University and the author of The Ku Klux Klan in the City .
Main Description
In America, in contrast to almost anywhere else in the world, the good life means traveling a long distance to get to work. How and why this came to be our cultural norm is the subject of this long-awaited book. Because more than two-thirds of all dwellings are single family homes surrounded by an ornamental yard, suburbia is the most distinctive physical characteristic of modern American society.Crabgrass Frontieris the first book to trace the growth of suburbs in America from their origins in the 1820's--in Brooklyn Heights opposite Manhattan--until the present day. Combining social history with economic and architectural history, the book discusses suburban communities in every section of the country as well as making comparisons with Europe and Japan. Jackson considers such intriguing questions as why transportation technology changed the shape of American cities more than European ones, why the family room and the television set replaced the stoop and the street as the focus of social interaction, how the evolution of the garage reflected increasing affection for the automobile, how federal housing programs undermined inner city neighborhoods, and how government policies insured the collapse of the nation's once superb mass transit system. The book shows not only that Americans have long preferred a detached dwelling to a row house, rural life to city life, and owning to renting, but also that suburbanization has been as much a governmental as a natural process. About the Author: Kenneth T. Jackson is a Professor of History at Columbia University and the author ofThe Ku Klux Klan in the City.
Main Description
This first full-scale history of the development of the American suburb examines how "the good life" in America came to be equated with the a home of one's own surrounded by a grassy yard and located far from the urban workplace. Integrating social history with economic and architecturalanalysis, and taking into account such factors as the availability of cheap land, inexpensive building methods, and rapid transportation, Kenneth Jackson chronicles the phenomenal growth of the American suburb from the middle of the 19th century to the present day. He treats communities in everysection of the U.S. and compares American residential patterns with those of Japan and Europe. In conclusion, Jackson offers a controversial prediction: that the future of residential deconcentration will be very different from its past in both the U.S. and Europe.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments
Introductionp. 3
Suburbs as Slumsp. 12
The Transportation Revolution and the Erosion of the Walking Cityp. 20
Home, Sweet Home: The House and the Yardp. 45
Romantic Suburbsp. 73
The Main Line: Elite Suburbs and Commuter Railroadsp. 87
The Time of the Trolleyp. 103
Affordable Homes for the Common Manp. 116
Suburbs into Neighborhoods: The Rise and Fall of Municipal Annexationp. 138
The New Age of Automobilityp. 157
Suburban Development Between the Warsp. 172
Federal Subsidy and the Suburban Dream: How Washington Changed the American Housing Marketp. 190
The Cost of Good Intentions: The Ghettoization of Public Housing in the United Statesp. 219
The Baby Boom and the Age of the Subdivisionp. 231
The Drive-In Culture of Contemporary Americap. 246
The Loss of Community in Metropolitan Americap. 272
Retrospect and Prospectp. 283
Appendixp. 307
Notesp. 329
Indexp. 383
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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