City-Building in America / Edition 1

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Why do some cities grow and expand, while others dwindle and decline? Why is Milwaukee a town of the past, while Minneapolis–St. Paul seems reborn and infused with future dynamism? And what do Milwaukee and the Twin Cities have to tell us about other cities’ prospects, the trials and destinies of industrial Cleveland and post-industrial Austin?Anthony Orum’s new book tells the story of these cities and, at the same time, of all cities. Here the urban past, present, and future are woven into one compelling tale. Orum traces the shift in the sources of urban growth from entrepreneurs to institutions and highlights the emergence of local government as a prominent force—indeed, as an institution—in shaping the trajectory of the urban industrial heartland. This complex trajectory includes all aspects of urban boom and bust: population trends, economic prosperity, politics and culture, as well as hard-to-pin-down qualities like a city’s collective hope and vision.Interspersing social theory, historical ethnography, and comparative analysis to help explain the fates of different cities, Orum lucidly portrays factory openings, labor strikes, elections, evictions, urban blight, white flight, recession, and rejuvenation to show the core histories—and future shape—of cities beyond the particulars presented in these pages. The reader will discover the key people and politics of cities along with the forces that direct them. With a rich variety of sources including newspapers, diaries, census materials, maps, photo essays, and, perhaps most captivating, original oral histories, City-Building in America is ideal for anyone interested in urban transformation and for courses in urban sociology, urban politics, industrial sociology, social change, and social mobility.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This thoughtful study examines why certain urban areas grow and continue to be healthy while others decline in population and job opportunities. Using the cities of Milwaukee, Cleveland, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Austin as examples, Orum (sociology, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago) explores the political and economic factors that can lead to a city's decline as well as to its rebirth and health. These factors range from the continued ability to annex land to the importance of enlightened and aggressive political leadership. Most telling is the comparative analysis of Milwaukee and Austin, the former a declining industrial city, the latter a city experiencing tremendous growth. Orum provides important lessons for politicians, planners, and business leaders. Highly recommended.H. Ward Jandl, National Park Svc., Washington, D.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813308432
  • Publisher: Westview Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 261
  • Lexile: 1540L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.06 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Anthony M. Orum is head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
1 Building, Unbuilding, and Rebuilding American Cities 3
2 Themes and Perspectives on the American City 9
3 Pre-Industrial Milwaukee: 1818-1870 25
4 Early Industrial Milwaukee: 1870-1900 49
5 Mature Industrial Milwaukee: 1900-1930 73
6 Reshaping Industrial Milwaukee: 1930-1950 101
7 The Decline of Industrial Milwaukee: 1950-1990 117
8 An Analytic Summary of Milwaukee 141
9 The Rise and Fall of Industrial Cleveland 153
10 The Rise of a Post-Industrial City: Austin, Texas 165
11 The Rebirth of Minneapolis-St. Paul: Creating a Post-Industrial City in the Midwest 181
12 Building Cities in America 195
Notes 209
About the Book and Author 245
Index 247
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