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Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States (1985)

av Kenneth T. Jackson

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
753930,587 (3.88)1
"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 architectural analysis, 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 every section 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."--Provided by publisher… (mer)
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I hadn’t much thought about the connections between inner-city gentrification and the rise of the suburbs, but they do have a few things in common:

- they both have the effect of protecting the interests of the “in” group against the marginalized in American (and for that matter Canadian) society

- they hijack public resources for private ends

We know that gentrification pushes individuals in marginal jobs far from their place of work, or often into intolerable living conditions close to their work. It happened in 19th century New York as well as 21st century London and Paris.

Suburbanization — mostly a N. American phenomenon — causes government to build vast networks of highways to support the wealthy few in far-flung and increasingly gated communities.

It’s not good for society and it sure as shooting isn’t good for the environment.

In “Crabgrass Frontier,” author Kenneth Jackson demonstrates how the rise of suburbs reinforced the racial divide in America.

- suburbs were allowed to opt out of public housing for propertyless African Americans

- zoning bylaws have been used to redraw the urban map and isolate marginalized groups

- Federal financing of home mortgages biased financing toward white veterans and their communities after the war, and even in Roosevelt programs in the wake of the Depression

It almost seems as though nothing happens in America that isn’t tied to race.
( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
An engaging book, but riddled with contradictions and, the author's impressive battery of statistics notwithstanding, rather glib. The superb chapter on redlining details the way racism festers in big government bureaucracies, and Jackson's solution is even bigger government, with even more bureaucracies. ( )
  gtross | Oct 13, 2021 |
Boring and highly informative, just as I expected.

The suburbs, a manifestation of middle-class values, trick their inhabitants into thinking they are the norm.

According to this book, the availability of land, the rise of middle-class mores about the nuclear family, the American ideals of freedom, and a fear/disdain for minorities and immigrants all collided to cause the flight from cities and the creation of periphery suburbs. While the rebellious 60s and riots that broke out in urban America contributed towards the growth of the suburbs, this book shows how these dynamics that drastically escalated by 1980 had been taking place for a century beforehand.

I also found helpful Jackson's exploration of the shifting importance of the nuclear family in the 19th century, in addition to the escalating domain of 'private life' over public.

Highly recommended for anyone who grew up in the suburbs, or who are interested in the spatial/geographic development of the United States. ( )
  100sheets | Jun 7, 2021 |
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"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 architectural analysis, 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 every section 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."--Provided by publisher

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