The Human Tradition in Urban America / Edition 1

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The Human Tradition in Urban America offers an intimate telling of America's evolution into an urban nation through the experiences of individuals. This book considers the growth of American cities by carefully looking at the lives of those people-some famous, some not so well known-who contributed to this important transition in the country's history. Roger Biles has assembled a superb collection of writings that provide a diverse collage of colorful and engaging characters. Covering the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, these diverse biographies show that the formation of America's new structure and environment was not simply the product of some mysterious blend of impersonal forces, but instead was the handiwork of a rich variety of human actors. The Human Tradition in Urban America is an accessible book that will appeal to all readers interested in the history of urban America. About the Author Roger Biles is professor of history at East Carolina University. He is the author and editor of several books on urban history, including From Tenements to the Taylor Homes: In Search of an Urban Housing Policy in Twentieth-Century America and Richard J. Daley: Politics, Race, and the Governing of Chicago. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Urban History Association and currently serves as the book review editor for H-Urban.

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Editorial Reviews

An intellectually compelling collection of biographies of urbanites. . . . These essays are accessible to undergraduates, yet grapple with hotly debated issues.
Amy S. Greenberg
A nice introduction to the problems and concerns facing different groups of urban Americans at different points in time.
Michael H. Ebner
A dynamic and captivating volume. The diverse and important individuals who populate the chapters of The Human Tradition in Urban America will make urban history courses come alive. Skillfully edited by Roger Biles, this innovative book will prove itself enticing.
Melvin G. Holli
A splendid addition to the Human Tradition series that utilizes biography to reflect urban history and urban change.
Perry Duis
Cities are more than buildings and infrastructures; they are also people. This delightful and informative collection of brief biographical sketches illuminates the variety of the urban experience. Professor Biles presents the stories of innovators—some familiar, but many newly introduced to most readers—who used the urban experience as a catalyst for new ideas. We are all richer for who they were and what they did.
An intellectually compelling collection of biographies of urbanites. . . . These essays are accessible to undergraduates, yet grapple with hotly debated issues.
Reminding us that urban life has flourished in the US since the earliest Native American settlements, Biles (history, East Carolina U., Greenville, NC) introduces 13 biographical essays sampling urban and suburban life in America. The diverse contributions showcase such urban improvement figures as: Andrew Jackson Downing, an early 19th century promoter of city parks and suburbs; Francis L. Cardozo, an early African American educator; Frank Julian Sprague, the father of electric mass transit in this country; evangelist Billy Sunday, "urban prophet of hope" to some; and Elizabeth Vi rrick, an activist for housing reform in postwar Miami. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780842029933
  • Publisher: Scholarly Resources, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Series: Human Tradition in America Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 230
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 8.88 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

Roger Biles is professor of history at East Carolina University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Jermiah Dummer: From Puritan Son to Worldly Gentleman Chapter 3 Andrew Jackson Downing: Promoter of City Parks and Suburbs Chapter 4 Alexander R. Shepherd: The Haussmannization of Washington, DC Chapter 5 Frank Julian Sprague: The Father of Electric Urban Mass Transit in the United States Chapter 6 Charles A. Comiskey: Baseball as American Pastime and Tragedy Chapter 7 Lillian Wald: Meeting the Needs of Neighborhoods, 1893-1933 Chapter 8 Billy Sunday: Urban Prophet of Hope Chapter 9 Albion Fellows Bacon: Indiana's Frenzied Philanthropist Chapter 10 Catherine Bauer: The Struggle for Modern Housing in America, 1930-1960 Chapter 11 Robert Moses: Relentless Progressive Chapter 12 Coleman A. Young: Race and the Reshaping of Postwar Urban Politics Chapter 13 Elizabeth Virrick: The "Concrete Monsters" and Housing Reform in Postwar Miami Chapter 14 Index

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