The American Planner: Biographies and Recollections / Edition 2

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This is a book about the giants of American planning—the urban and regional planners who shaped the American landscape over the last century. In sensitive, compelling essays, the contributors explore the myths and virtues of the planning profession in human terms—the frustrations, hopes, anger, pride, fears, dreams, and foolishness of the leading practitioners of the field.

Donald A. Krueckeberg’s unique compilation of biographies shows how planners were molded by the conflicting demands of self and culture—and how that fusion was reflected in their actions and impacts on American society. Catherine Bauer, Alfred Bettman, Daniel Burnham, Kevin Lynch, Benton MacKaye, Lewis Mumford, Frederick Law Olmsted, Rexford Tugwell—and a host of other visionaries—come to life on the pages of this work.

Why should we read these stories? "In the sharing of these secrets," Krueckeberg writes, "planners form a culture, a community of ideas and contentions that define and redefine our salvation in our practices." The book realizes the hope of all good biography: it shows how particular planners acquired their personalities from the demands of self and culture and how that fusion was reflected in their actions and their impacts on American society. This is essential reading for every planner, from student to hardened veteran.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Geographers have long recognized that comprehension of the discipline and its current themes is enhanced by knowledge of past trends in geographic thought and, concurrently, an analysis of historic leaders in the field and their influence. In a parallel sense, through biographical sketches of prominent American planners, embellished with an overview of both their times and urban trends, Krueckeberg’s book provides a perceptive account of how planning achieved its mid-twentieth century stance… [A]n implicit value of Krueckeberg’s biographies is the material provided for inferences on future directions, successes and disappointments in American planning and, consequently, American urban areas.” —Robert D. Swartz, The Professional Geographer “As a contribution to planning history, then, the book can be taken at two levels. At one level, it provides the aficionado with plenty of interesting detail… At a more analytical level, setting individual experiences and actions in context… it provides a record of some of the causes and consequences of the world-views that have contributed to professional planning in the United States.” —Paul Knox, Annals of the Association of American Geographers “In The American Planner… Donald Krueckeberg of Rutgers University has brought together a disjointed but oddly engrossing collection of biographical sketches about U.S. planning luminaries… The American Planner, he writes, is “about people whose heads were filled with theories and whose hearts were filled with aspirations.” The selections can easily be read separately.” —Harold Henderson, Planning “Since its first publication in 1983, The American Planner has been a classroom standby that uses the careers and accomplishments of individual planners to introduce the main themes of city planning history in the United States… The choices broaden the scope of “American planning” chronologically and conceptually, deemphasizing details of professional practice during the early twentieth century and expanding attention to ideas about the characteristics of good community. The essays emphasize intellectual uncertainties and struggles as well as firm prescriptions for city-building.” —Carl Abbott, Journal of the American Planning Association "Abound[s] with detail . . . puts a personal touch to the entire panorama of U.S. planning history." —M. Hebbert, Town Planning Review
A collection of essays and biographies of urban and regional planners who shaped the American landscape over the last century, exploring the myths and virtues of the planning profession in human terms. Shows how particular planners acquired their personality from the conflicting demands of self and culture and how that fusion was reflected in their impact on American society. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780882851488
  • Publisher: CUPR/Transaction
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Edition description: 2nd ed
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 549

Meet the Author

Donald A. Krueckeberg was associate dean for Master’s and professional programs at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, Rutgers University. His work appeared in Housing Policy Debate, Planning Education and Research, and Journal of Planning Education and Research. In addition, he is the author of The American Planner: Biographies and Recollections and Local Population and Employment Projection Techniques.

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Table of Contents

List of Figures
About the Editor
About the Contributors
1 The American Planner: A New Introduction 1
2 Frederick Law Olmsted: The Artist as Social Agent 37
3 John Nolen: The Background of a Pioneer Planner 61
4 Housing 85
5 Benjamin C. Marsh and the Fight Over Population Congestion 113
6 Burnham's Plan and Moody's Manual: City Planning as Progressive Reform 133
7 Charles Dyer Norton and the Origins of the Regional Plan of New York 163
8 Bettman of Cincinnati 183
9 Harland Bartholomew: Precedent for the Profession 217
10 Henry Wright: 1878-1936 243
11 Lewis Mumford, Benton MacKaye, and the Regional Vision 265
12 An Urban View: Catherine Bauer's Five Questions 311
13 Tugwell in New York: The Perils of Liberal Planning 345
14 The U.S.A.: 1938-1955 373
15 Charles Abrams: A Lover of Cities 403
16 Kevin Lynch: His Life and Work 439
17 From Civic Worker to City Planner: Women and Planning, 1890-1980 469
Index 507
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