American Citiesby Michael Heatley
The names alone tell a fascinating story of their origins, betraying the nationality of their first settlers and, often, a clue as to those settlers' first impressions, Now, of course, those early pioneers would scarcely
No country in the world can rival the United States for cultural diversity. And nowhere is that better reflected than in its major cities.
The names alone tell a fascinating story of their origins, betraying the nationality of their first settlers and, often, a clue as to those settlers' first impressions, Now, of course, those early pioneers would scarcely recognize the cities they founded all those years ago: natural disasters such as flood or fire, the Civil War, the development of new industry or an unexpected influx of people have all, in one way to another, played a part in shaping today's cities. Skylines have changed over time, too, while the ethnic mix in the population that typifies the all-inclusive United States is often reflected in the architecture from region to region.
Cities are populated by people, and there is no doubt that some bear the imprint of the major personalities who lived, and sometimes died, in them. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Atlanta and John F. Kennedy in Dallas are two examples that had an impact on an international level. Yet the cultural importance of Berry Gordy's Motown record label in Detroit, or the hippie counterculture in San Francisco, both of which took off in the 1960s, was also felt on a global scale. Less happily, the Rodney King race riots and the cataclysmic events of 9/11 put Los Angeles and New York into the headlines in 1992 and 2001 respectively.
The changing face of American cities reflects the development of a great nation. These pictures tell their own revealing story, and will fascinate readers of all ages.
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- 12.00(w) x 16.13(h) x 1.10(d)
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This book by Michael Heatley leaves me with mixed opinions. Sure, there are some great pictures of our great cities like New York, Chicago, Philly, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Denver, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Houston and Charlotte. However, this book could have been much better. First, I think Orlando, FL and Louisville, Kentucky should have been included instead of Vergennes, Vermont, and Fresno, California, because they are more well-known. Orlando for Disney World and Louisville for the Kentucky Derby. Also, where are the skylines of Albuquerque, Mobile and Sacramento? I'm really surprised that Mobile's skyline wasn't shown due to that newly completed 40-something-story skyscraper there. But another problem is that many pictures in the book are over a decade old. The picture of Dallas, Texas on page 81 is from -- oddly enough -- around '81,
because the Bank of America was completed in 1984. But the biggest error in the book is the photo of Mission San Jose included in the profile of San Jose, California. You won't find that mission in Silicon Valley. San Antonio, Texas is the home of the "Queen of Missions", and the publishers of this book should have done their homework. If you really want to see America's cities in their glory, buy James Blakeway's Skylines: American Cities Yesterday and Today.