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The United States of Suburbia

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1998 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 290 p. Contains: Illustrations. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event ... that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

There was a time when cities were the dominant force in politics, controlling who was elected and what those candidates fought for in office. Roosevelt and Truman could not have reached the White House without crucial help from urban bosses, and Kennedy would have remained a senator forever without the powder keg of Chicago voters. But those days, like the conditions of our once prized cities, have changed!

This book shows clearly that we have entered the "Suburban Century," when the voting muscle lies within the quiet, tree-lined streets of "the burbs," far away from the dangers of city life. The 1996 presidential race cemented the suburbs' control over politics with Clinton and Dole pressing the issues of the Baby Boomers taxes, medicare, business, and the environment while poverty, drug abuse, and crime were nearly swept under the campaign platforms.

How did this dramatic power shift occur? What does it mean for the future? Noted journalist, demographer, and political analyst G. Scott Thomas has examined almost sixty years of elections and population shifts to illustrate suburbia's blueprint for the forces that will shape politics for the next century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
U.S. suburbs have wrested political control of the country from big cities over the past 50 years, according to Thomas, a demographer, historian and former Washington reporter for National Public Radio. Adroitly using polls, computer analyses and comments from top Clinton strategists, Thomas reveals how candidate Clinton targeted both of his presidential campaigns directly at moderate suburban voters rather than at urban liberals, on whom the Democratic Party historically relied as its base of support. Thomas offers a demographic profile of suburban voters as largely centrists who believe in a limited role for government in addressing such issues as poverty, homelessness and racial discrimination. He shows that suburbanites support free-trade agreements, welfare cuts and an end to affirmative action while disdaining cities, disliking central authority and believing the U.S. should no longer play the role of global cop. Thomas predicts that massive federal aid will not be forthcoming to tackle cities' pressing problems. A "selective urban renaissance" targeting particular needs, from downtowns to museums and expressways, he says, is the most that can be expected. Thomas also offers advice to office seekers, e.g., "Democrats must make suburban voters their primary target"; "Republicans must resist any strategy based on regionalism." Although readers may not agree with his pessimistic conclusions, pundits, opinion makers, strategists and political candidates will find this censuslike foray into America's political future to be a compendium of useful statistics and ideas. Sept.
Booknews
Details the steady rise of suburbia from 1939 to the present day, and forecasts demographic trends during the coming 25 years, using a computer model to predict future populations and racial compositions of 93 major cities and their suburbs. Looks into the suburban mind, discussing five core beliefs that motivate suburbanites and their key policy objectives. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573922432
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 11/1/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

G. Scott Thomas, a former reporter for National Public Radio, is the editor of the online newsletter Demographics Journal, and is author of The Rating Guide to Life in America's Small Cities (1st ed.), and The Rating Guide to Life in America's Fifty States.

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Table of Contents

Preface 9
1 Blue Tide: Election Night 1996 15
2 Inevitable as Sunrise: 1939-1990 31
3 No Longer Sub to the Urb: 1991-1996 68
4 Two Americas: Into the Twenty-First Century 102
5 Levittown's Children: The Suburban Viewpoint 135
6 Platform for the Twenty-First Century: The Suburban Agenda 157
7 Brave New World: America's Political Future 190
Appendices 231
Notes 261
Selected Bibliography 279
Index 285
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