A comprehensive survey of the dynamics of American urbanization from the sixteenth century to the present. The authors blend historical perspectives on society, economics, politics, and policy, while focusing on the ways in which diverse peoples have inhabited and interacted in cities. The book tackles ethnic and racial minority issues, offers multiple perspectives on women, and highlights urbanization's constantly shifting nature.
A broad survey of American urbanization organized chronologically and integrating political, social, and economic history. Chudacoff Brown U. and Smith U. of Mass-Boston investigate such questions as why people go to the city, what they find there, how they cope, what they contribute, and how they are rewarded. Earlier editions appeared from 1975 to 1994. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
Since 1975, when The Evolution of American Urban Society was first published, American cities and the scholarship about the history of American cities have undergone consequential changes. Yet at the same time, there have been vital consistencies in both urban life and the scholarly focus on how American urban society has evolved. Throughout almost three decades, the authors of this book have maintained their focus on the social history of urban life, with special attention to the unfolding political and economic processes that have shaped the development of cities and the lives of urban dwellers. Equally important have been the ways that the actions of urban dwellers—the powerful and the ordinary—have influenced the course of urban history.
For this, the sixth edition of The Evolution of American Urban Society, we have updated the scholarship and bibliographies for each chapter, paying particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, the built environment, regional differentials, and emerging cultural forms such as rock and rap music. Wherever possible, we have added perspectives on the environmental impact of cities and suburbs. The chapters on the post-World War II cities offer new attention to the new racial and ethnic mix produced by the most recent immigration trends and to the re-institutionalization of segregation resulting from public housing development and highway policies. As well, we have tried to be sensitive to the effects of concentrated poverty in inner-city neighborhoods and the costs of hardening barriers between city and suburb. The final chapter has been expanded to take into account issues relating to the presidential administration of George W. Bush and to the consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
Once again, we owe special thanks to Pembroke Herbert for her valuable picture research and to Jim O'Brien for his efficient indexing. We also wish to acknowledge the insightful critiques offered by Mark Newman, National Louis University; Abel Bartley University of Akron; Anne Brophy Georgia State University; George Lubick, Northern Arizona University; and Jacob Judd, CUNY/Lehman College. Howard Chudacoff thanks Nancy Fisher Chudacoff for guidance and inspiration, and Judith Smith thanks Larry Blum, and Ben, Sarah, and Laura Blum-Smith for their insights and support.