The Evolution of American Urban Society / Edition 7

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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.

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Editorial Reviews

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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780136015710
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 11/3/2009
  • Series: MySearchLab Series for History Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 7
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

New co-author, Peter Baldwin of the University of Connecticut
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Read an Excerpt

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.

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Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each chapter contains a Bibliography and Notes section.)


Chapter One: Urban America in the Colonial Age, 1500—1776

Urban Beginnings

Problems of Growth

The Social Mosaic

Cities in the American Revolution


Chapter Two: Urban Expansion in the New Nation, 1776-1860

Cities in the New Republic

Revolutions in Transportation and the Economy


Beginnings of Urban Industrialism

Societal Effects of Economic Change

Problems of Growth


Chapter Three: Life in the Walking City, 1820—1865

The Walking City

Social Complexity and Contested Terrain


Rootless Men and Women

Urban Politics

Cities and the Civil War


Chapter Four: Industrialization and the Changing Shape of the City, 1865—1920

The Quickening Pace of Industrialization

The Growth of Mass Transit

The Geography of the Streetcar City

The Geography of Leisure: Parks and Commercial Amusements

Population Mobility


Chapter Five: Newcomers and the Urban Core, 1865—1920

Waves of Immigration

Rural Americans Move to the City

Housing and Health

Coping With Inner-City Life

Patterns of Social Mobility


Chapter Six: Bosses and Reformers in City Politics, 1870-1920

Origins of the Machine

Structure and Functions of the Machine

Some Notable Cases

City Governance and Municipal Reform

Goals and Tactics of Municipal Reform


Chapter Seven: Reforming the Social and Physical Environment, 1870-1920

Impulses of Social Reform

Remedies of Social Reformers

Religious and Moral Reform

Educational Reform


Planning and Engineering the City

Reform Becomes Progressivism

The Rise of Urban Liberalism


Chapter Eight: Cities in an Age of Metropolitanism: The 1920s and 1930s

New Urban Growth

Suburbanization and Metropolitanism

Cities and Consumer Culture

Cities as a Cultural Battleground

Urban Politics in the 1920s

The Great Depression

Relief and Welfare


Political and Social Life in the 1930s


Chapter Nine: The Emerging “Urban Crisis,” 1941—1975

The Impact of World War II on Cities

Postwar Suburban Growth

Racial Transition in Urban Neighborhoods

Urban Renewal and its Consequences

Currents of Protest

Changes in Urban Politics


Chapter Ten: New Hope and New Concerns in the American City

Deindustrialization and Financial Crisis

The Decline of Federal Urban Policy

Dual Cities: Rich and Poor in a Changing Economy

Privatization, Gambling and Tourism

The Federal Government and the Cities in the 1990s And 2000s

Revitalization and Gentrification

Immigration and Diversity

Changing Suburbs

The Disasters in New York and New Orleans


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