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 book is a fascinating social history of America covering years – s to s. The ending begins with a fatalism that develops into a somewhat prescient expectation of gentrification and urban renewal. Technology including railroads, electric streetcars, and the automobile reinforced the isolation of not just these individual neighborhoods, but also of individual households, resulting in what he termed the “fragmentation of metropolitan America.

To purchase, visit your preferred ebook provider. Jackson disabused me of that notion.

Bancroft PrizeFrancis Parkman Prize Minorities, particularly African-Americans, were practically barred from rhe to suburbs, both northern and southern, everywhere, ssuburbanization collusion, federal policy choices, etc.

So by telling the history and exploring the dynamics that created suburban USA, Kenneth Jackson’s book is a demystification of this society’s ideology. Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. 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.

Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States

Du Bois, and Lawrence Bobo. Second, the willingness to frotier new technologies, such as transportation, allowed for rapid change and innovation. One downside I would note though is, in terms of it’s evaluation of the modern landscape, the section that analyizes and acknowledges the shifting positive trends towards a redeveloping of the suburban mindset and a resurgence of downtown revitalization across North America is rather brief.

Perhaps even more fascinating is the way Jackson outlines the misguided notions of staes living”.

For him, the net result of Federal Government housing policy was the concentration of the poor in the cities, while middle class, usually white individuals flocked to the suburbs, which were touted as refuges from the crime and moral decay of American cities.

Will the amount of driving that is necessary in suburban life be targeted as unsustainable or will the green canopy of the suburb be seen as negating the impact of the carbon crabgraas.


Crabgrass Frontier

This book is perfect for both graduates and undergraduates, as well as a reader interested in the rise of suburbs. This has much to do with legislation that remains complicated and difficult to this suburbanizatjon the book expounds on the problem of annexation of suburb lands to boost population size.

Since I’ve lived in foreign towns and cities for 5 years, I’ve seen some of these issues already, but the book made them crystal-clear. Sep 30, AskHistorians added it Shelves: Those policies changed forever the fate of American cities and the nature of our suburbs, with implications of course for race, opportunity, education, and individual prosperity. American cities annexed adjacent land and grew steadily A really clear and cogent analysis of suburbanization in America: Developers understood that they benefited from an emphasis on highways rather than mass transit and Jackson covers this story convincingly.

Oct 02, Stephen rated it really liked it Shelves: The French, who are usually orthodox in their etymology, if in nothing else, have evolved ‘automobile,’ which being half Greek and half Latin is so near indecent that we print it with hesitation.

John Brown The Oxford W. It is examines how the changes in transportation, financing and legal means or neglect of legal means created the suburban landscape we now see surrounding even the smaller cities within the US. There was so much amazi “The US is not only the world’s first suburban nation, but it will also be its last.

Jackson’s approach is very well balanced–refraining from the temptation of holding any single issue responsible for the suburbanization truly unique to the United States in terms of scale, the first half of the book covers the early days of the nineteenth century.

Jackson argues that the U. While not particularly argumentative, Kenneth Jackson’s Crabgrass Frontier is a synthesis of American suburban life and the rise of Americans who wanted to forgo city life for more rural, suburban areas starting shortly after World War II.

Or, more honestly, they did have a place–in the crowded inner cities that the white middle class began to abandon once trains, trolleys, and the automobile made it possible to do so. Moreover, it taught me about the pervasive power a conservatism based on selective memory and benign ignorance has to maintain structural inequalities.

I learnt a lot about my adoptive country and how this sort of suburbanisation was somewhat unique here compared to other countries.


Those wanting to frontker the development of suburbia will find it a worthy guide, especially for its less strident tone as compared to an author like Jim Kunstler. There are a lot of great things about suburbs too, and the book describes these and why they were appealing! Insightful and comprehensive look at suburbanization in the US. Crabgrass Frontier is chalk full of information on the social, political and personal development of suburb culture.

Basically, the European logic was that the farther you had to travel to work, the worse off your social standing was–quite unimaginable to most Americans who work in the city!

Also, watching imagining anyway the changes that each new system of transportation brought is crabgarss fascinating.

Crabgrass Frontier – Wikipedia

Things change in reaction to new external stimuli all the time. Yet, because Jackson presented his analysis as a synthesis, he exposed himself to generalizations that sometimes hurt his presentation. The Baseball Trust Stuart Banner.

Jackson intends his broad analysis to serve as a cautionary generalization of the suburban story, warning readers that it is impossible to detail the distinctions found in each suburb within the space allotted, but arguing that there are “essential similarities in American suburbanization” 6. Jackson gives the history of US suburbanization The Drive-in Culture of Contemporary America One of the problems one encounters when one wishes to read about suburbs and their developments is that those who are engaged in the process of building homes for others are too busy engaged in the work, so that thos There is a deep problem with an author who can have nice things to say about the atrocious mass public housing efforts during the Great Depression and afterward but has little or nothing nice to say about the suburbs of the United Kingdom, United States, and other settler colonies.

Brody, Spring 2. Jackson just describes the facts and even then recognises that no trend continues for ever. 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.