By Steven Conn
T is a paradox of yank lifestyles that we're a hugely urbanized kingdom full of humans deeply ambivalent approximately city existence. An aversion to city density and all that it contributes to city lifestyles, and a notion that town was once where the place "big government" first took root in the United States fostered what historian Steven Conn phrases the "anti-urban impulse." In reaction, anti-urbanists referred to as for the decentralization of town, and rejected the function of presidency in American existence in prefer of a go back to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. during this provocative and sweeping booklet, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse around the twentieth century, analyzing how the guidelines born of it have formed either the areas during which american citizens stay and paintings, and the anti-government politics so powerful at the present time. starting within the booming commercial towns of the innovative period on the flip of the 20 th century, the place debate surrounding those questions first arose, Conn examines the development of anti-urban routine. : He describes the decentralist circulate of the Nineteen Thirties, the try and revive the yank small city within the mid-century, the anti-urban foundation of city renewal within the Nineteen Fifties and '60s, and the Nixon administration's software of establishing new cities as a reaction to the city hindrance, illustrating how, via the center of the twentieth century, anti-urbanism was once on the heart of the politics of the hot correct. Concluding with an exploration of the hot Urbanist experiments on the flip of the twenty first century, Conn demonstrates the entire breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the current day. Engagingly written, completely researched, and forcefully argued, american citizens opposed to town is necessary analyzing for someone who cares not only in regards to the heritage of our towns, yet approximately their destiny in addition.
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Additional info for Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century
17 Turner, though trained in the seminar room at The Johns Hopkins University, was a midwesterner—Wisconsin born and bred. His essay can be read as a midwesterner’s revenge on what he found to be an overbearing East Coast. But there 2 0 • A m e r i c a n s A g ai n s t t h e Ci t y is more to his midwestern-ness than that. The romantic version of American history that crystallized in the nineteenth century is, first and foremost, a midwestern story. The nation might have begun on the coast, but it was on the rolling prairies of the Midwest that it truly manifested its destiny.
Friends and intellectual sparring partners. In the early twentieth century, Josiah Royce (right) and William James (left) both taught in the Harvard University philosophy department. ” Throughout the American tradition—indeed, throughout the Christian tradition—prosperity and spiritual perfection have had an uneasy co-existence. From the Puritan anxiety over whether earthly success hinted at eternal salvation, to the founders’ fear that wealth and luxury would lead to corruption, to Thoreau’s paeans to simplicity as the antidote to rampant materialism, Americans have struggled to reconcile the comforts of this world with their prospects in the next.
It is, almost, an odd kind of Marxism—a social revolution based on a new industrial prosperity, rather than on industrial desperation. Since the dissolution of that early Christian world, a new, more perfect community lacked the material base upon which it could be built. Now, Western industrial society had created that base—the prosperity necessary for the “community of mankind” to emerge and thrive. And it had done so in and because of its great cities. Friends and intellectual sparring partners.
Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century by Steven Conn