Catalogue


Desert visions and the making of Phoenix, 1860-2009 /
Philip VanderMeer.
imprint
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2010.
description
xvii, 459 p.
ISBN
0826348912 (cloth : alk. paper), 9780826348913 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 2010.
isbn
0826348912 (cloth : alk. paper)
9780826348913 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
pt. 1. The first desert vision : an American Eden -- Civilizing the desert : the initial phase -- Building the modern city : physical form and function -- Shaping the modern American city : social construction -- pt. 2. Creating and pursuing a new vision, 1940-60 -- Creating a new vision : the war and after -- Building a new politics -- Growing the city : economic, cultural, and spatial expansion -- pt. 3. Elaborating and modifying the high-tech suburban vision -- From houses to communities : suburban growth in the postwar metropolis, 1945-80 -- Political change and changing policies in the 1960s and 1970s -- Changing the urban form : the politics of place and space -- An uncertain future : looking for a new vision -- Conclusion: Desert vision, desert city.
catalogue key
7599604
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
Through investigating Phoenix's struggle to become a major American metropolis, VanderMeer's study also offers a unique view of what it means to be a desert city.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2011-11-01:
Urban elites combat first the desert and finally growth itself in this post-1860 history of Phoenix, Arizona. While the book occasionally leans toward panegyric, it ends citing a litany of Phoenix's urban problems familiar to all postwar urban Americans. In the book's early chapters, historian VanderMeer (Arizona State Univ., Tempe; Phoenix Rising: The Making of a Desert Metropolis, 2002) explores Phoenix's archaeological roots and environmental history, but mainly focuses on the city's post-Civil War history and how city leaders envisioned the future. Loosely chronological, the book traces Phoenix's evolving economy from agricultural services to high-tech powerhouse. VanderMeer charts the city's political history and Phoenix's evolution from a western town with eastern architecture to a sprawling metropolis shaped (after WW II) by suburban annexations. VanderMeer underscores both Phoenix's appeal to health and tourism and its commitment to affordable housing. Unlike Matthew Klingle's chronologically structured Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle (CH, Oct'08, 46-1093), VanderMeer's book shifts from a chronological to a topical rendering that produces intermittent repetition and confusion. Nevertheless, the book provides a useful overview of Phoenix's history for undergraduates and a definitive scholarly bibliography. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Undergraduate libraries and up. J. F. Bauman University of Southern Maine
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, April 2011
Choice, November 2011
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Philip VanderMeer examines the unlikely history of Phoenix, a city that by all environmental logic should not exist. Too hot, too dry, too remote would be a geographer's assessment of the locale; nevertheless, Phoenix has grown into the nation's fifth largest city. The author details how this unlikely city came into being and how it has sustained itself. To understand how such unusual growth occurred in such an improbable location, VanderMeer explores five major themes: the natural environment, urban infrastructure, economic development, social and cultural values, and public leadership.
Main Description
Whether touted for its burgeoning economy, affordable housing, and pleasant living style, or criticized for being less like a city than a sprawling suburb, Phoenix, by all environmental logic, should not exist. Yet despite its extremely hot and dry climate and its remoteness, Phoenix has grown into a massive metropolitan area. This exhaustive study examines the history of how Phoenix came into being and how it has sustained itself, from its origins in the 1860s to its present status as the nation's fifth largest city. From the beginning, Phoenix sought to grow, and although growth has remained central to the city's history, its importance, meaning, and value have changed substantially over the years. The initial vision of Phoenix as an American Eden gave way to the Cold War Era vision of a High Tech Suburbia, which in turn gave way to rising concerns in the late twentieth century about the environmental, social, and political costs of growth. To understand how such unusual growth occurred in such an improbable location, Philip VanderMeer explores five major themes: the natural environment, urban infrastructure, economic development, social and cultural values, and public leadership. Through investigating Phoenix's struggle to become a major American metropolis, his study also offers a unique view of what it means to be a desert city.
Table of Contents
Tablesp. xi
Figuresp. xii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introductionp. 1
The First Desert Vision: An American Edenp. 9
Civilizing the Desert: The Initial Phasep. 11
Physical Realities and Early Settlementp. 11
The Town That Agriculture Builtp. 16
Building a Townp. 20
Establishing the Public Cityp. 27
Building a Hydraulic System: Controlling and Using Waterp. 29
Climate and Healthp. 33
Building the Modern City: Physical Form and Functionp. 37
Phoenix in an Urban Context, 1890-1920p. 38
The Changing Urban Formp. 42
The Changing Urban Form I: Downtownp. 42
The Changing Urban Form II: From Streetcar Suburbs to Automobile Suburbsp. 48
Remaking or Saving the Desertp. 52
Shaping the Modern American City: Social Constructionp. 57
Making a Moral Cityp. 57
Making a Cultured Cityp. 61
A Lively Cityp. 65
Social Structures and Diverse Peoplesp. 68
Governing the Cityp. 71
Selling the Cityp. 76
Crisis and Completion: The 1930sp. 79
Controlling the Climatep. 83
The Phoenix Economic Elitep. 85
Phoenix in 1940p. 88
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

This information is provided by a service that aggregates data from review sources and other sources that are often consulted by libraries, and readers. The University does not edit this information and merely includes it as a convenience for users. It does not warrant that reviews are accurate. As with any review users should approach reviews critically and where deemed necessary should consult multiple review sources. Any concerns or questions about particular reviews should be directed to the reviewer and/or publisher.

  link to old catalogue

Report a problem