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 . Crabgrass Frontier is the first book to trace the growth of suburbs in America from their origins in the ‘s–in Brooklyn Heights opposite Manhattan–until the. JOHN O’LOUGHLIN. CRABGRASS FRONTIER: The Suburbanization of the United States. By. KENNETH T. JACKSON. x and pp.; maps, diagrs., ills., index.

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This history of the suburb is valuable in so many ways, but I found the organization of the book with the many sub-headings made it seem like reading the text for a documentary and I kept hearing the accompanying voice of a narrator in my head.

But it presents the data in what I felt was an entertaining mix of stories and narrative development. Other factors at play as well, but almost all of them in the predictable manner.

Rich People’s Movements Isaac Martin. Jan 23, James rated it it was amazing. Oct 28, Yupa rated it really liked it Shelves: At first, living outside the city and commuting to it to work was the domain of suburbanjzation very wealthy, but the arrival of railroads allowed moderately wealthy persons to join in.

He provides statistical analysis for financial reasons to move further from jobs and psychological and social reasons for moving away crsbgrass city congestion to create residential retreats. Just a gut-wrenching episode that I wouldn’t wish on any one.

In effect, the government was encouraging the transfer of the middle-class population out of the inner cities and into the suburbs, sometimes with devastating effects on the viability of the city centers. But i’ve been doing a lot of historical reading on the development of the suburbs and urban spaces, which is slightly less inside subufbanization and more aligned with my general interest in spaces.

People wanted to get out of the cities, or at least own their own property. In understanding how on earth American cities developed as they did, there is probably no better place to start than this book. While the borders of cities have historically been slums, home to necessary but despised industries like leather tanneries, in the United States cities came to be ringed by affluence.

Additionally, the traditional European city had similar forms of economic segregation as American cities–though the segregation was topographically in reverse, with the poor being shunned to the perimeter in the European model, and to the core in the American model. White Americans thus used the suburbs as a haven that separated them from the congestion, decentralization, and black migration that helped define the urban crisis. Further though, it is clear that the biggest problem is one of mindset.


Jacksons focus is on America, but along the way he provides a window of comparison to the Countries that sit on the otherside of the great pond.

Crabgrass Frontier – The Mason Historiographiki

The essential message in this work is that suburbia was the confluence of planning, policy and technology that highlighted and propelled extant trends crabgarss had begun in the nineteenth century.

One of the key learnings that I took away from this is that suburbanization was not simply the sole problem of the automobile. If the government will only loan you money to build a house in the suburbs as compared to in the city, or to repair a structure in the cityand only to white people then uh. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Although Jackson draws examples from various sized cities across the nation, much of the focus is on Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.

Jackon begins detached and eventually waxes passionate as the suburbs’ success prove to be at the frontuer of the cities, but he’s never caustic. This is a highly accessible book that has kf the test of time and will inform by helping to keep frotnier mind the various factors at play when looking at the built environment.

Du Bois, and Manning Marable. Selected pages Title Page. Academic Skip to main content. Jackson subirbanization out that in major world cities outside North America well off citizens cluster in the urban core, while the working and underclass are consigned to more remote districts.

The suburb created family space with each house having its own tiny park that created a buffer of privacy. The upper classes lived within walking distance of work and cultural activities, while the poor laborers lived in the suburbs, or the rough edges of town. There was so much amazi “The US is not only the world’s first suburban nation, but it will also be its last. Du Bois, and Saidya Hartman. New European housing often looks elegant from the outside, but much of it is backward in hhe equipment, bathroom layout, floor plans, heating, plumbing and lighting—the innards that make the shell truly livable.

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While unitdd wasn’t necessary for it to recount history chronologically it is an analysis, rather than a history book, after allit was compiled as though it were a series of essays written at different times for different purposes and audiences, meaning that it doubled over information several times or made references to things that fhe be explained until later, etc.

Jackson cannot be faulted for inaccurately predicting twenty frontker in the future and will likely address these statements in a revised edition, but this case underscores the dated feeling that runs throughout Crabgrass Frontierespecially in an otherwise solid, concise conclusion.

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.

The better way forward is learning how to utilize the crabggass suburb structure unitee our collective benefit. Thirty years after the fact, we know that sprawl recovered from those hiccoughs, only for its tide to slow and reverse in the later years of the 21st century’s opening decade, influenced by the financial crisis and the new normal of high gasoline prices. Are we more enlightened today?

Starting around the s, white Americans began an era of suburbanization by leaving cities for more “family oriented” areas. Du Bois, and Wilson J.

The essential questions for anyone interested in the suburban experience are raised in Crabgrass Frontierhowever, many historians have dissected and invented new threads to explore while trying to empower those who moved away from cities and in the most modern sense, those who moved back. My library Help Advanced Book Search.

Crabgrass Frontier

Dec 30, Andrew Fairweather rated it really liked it Shelves: Articles with short description Pages to import images to Wikidata. Those policies changed forever the fate of American cities and the pf of our suburbs, with implications of course for race, opportunity, education, and individual prospe A really clear and cogent analysis of suburbanization in America: If you are simply looking for a run-down of how the American suburb came to be, this book certainly offers a thorough answer.

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