From Warfare to Welfare: Defense Intellectuals and Urban Problems in Cold War Americaby Jennifer S. Light
During the early decades of the Cold War, large-scale investments in American defense and aerospace research and development spawned a variety of problem-solving techniques, technologies, and institutions. From systems analysis to reconnaissance satellites to think tanks, these innovations did not remain exclusive accessories of the defense establishment. Instead,
During the early decades of the Cold War, large-scale investments in American defense and aerospace research and development spawned a variety of problem-solving techniques, technologies, and institutions. From systems analysis to reconnaissance satellites to think tanks, these innovations did not remain exclusive accessories of the defense establishment. Instead, they readily found civilian applications in both the private and public sector. City planning and management were no exception.
Jennifer Light argues that the technologies and values of the Cold War fundamentally shaped the history of postwar urban America. From Warfare to Welfare documents how American intellectuals, city leaders, and the federal government chose to attack problems in the nation's cities by borrowing techniques and technologies first designed for military engagement with foreign enemies. Experiments in urban problem solving adapted the expertise of defense professionals to face new threats: urban chaos, blight, and social unrest. Tracing the transfer of innovations from military to city planning and management, Light reveals how a continuing source of inspiration for American city administrators lay in the nation's preparations for war.
Zachary M. Schrag
Roger W. Lotchin
Light stands some of the conventional Cold War wisdom on its head... This study not only closes the loop between business management and the military back to the civilian sector, but also reminds readers of the continuing nature of unintended consequences that flow from expert technological obsessions when allied to policy making.
Michael R. Curry
Margaret Pugh O'Mara
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are saying about this
This is an outstanding presentation and analysis that should attract significant attention especially recognizing current issues in this area. Jennifer Light has produced an outstanding discussion and evaluation of the capabilities, efforts, tools, and contributions of technologists, scientists, managers, planners, analysts from the military, aerospace, and other federal government agencies.
Harold Finger, former NASA Associate Administrator for Organization and Management and former HUD Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
Light demonstrates how careful attention to the connection between cold war planning and urban planning forces us to rethink the recent history of the American city. This is really a study of how defense intellectuals managed to convince a couple generations of planners and politicians that they had something valuable to learn from RAND, JPL, and NASA.
Stuart W. Leslie, The Johns Hopkins University
Meet the Author
Jennifer S. Light is an associate professor of communication studies, history, and sociology at Northwestern University.
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