By Steven Conn
T is a paradox of yankee lifestyles that we're a hugely urbanized country full of humans deeply ambivalent approximately city lifestyles. An aversion to city density and all that it contributes to city existence, and a notion that town used to be where the place "big government" first took root in the USA fostered what historian Steven Conn phrases the "anti-urban impulse." In reaction, anti-urbanists known as for the decentralization of the town, and rejected the position of presidency in American existence in prefer of a go back to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. during this provocative and sweeping e-book, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse around the twentieth century, reading how the tips born of it have formed either the areas during which american citizens dwell and paintings, and the anti-government politics so powerful this day. starting within the booming commercial towns of the innovative period on the flip of the twentieth century, the place debate surrounding those questions first arose, Conn examines the development of anti-urban hobbies. : He describes the decentralist move of the Thirties, the try and revive the yankee small city within the mid-century, the anti-urban foundation of city renewal within the Nineteen Fifties and '60s, and the Nixon administration's software of creating new cities as a reaction to the city main issue, illustrating how, by way of the center of the 20 th century, anti-urbanism was once on the heart of the politics of the recent correct. Concluding with an exploration of the recent Urbanist experiments on the flip of the twenty first century, Conn demonstrates the whole breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the current day. Engagingly written, completely researched, and forcefully argued, american citizens opposed to town is necessary interpreting for someone who cares not only concerning the historical past of our towns, yet approximately their destiny in addition.
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Additional resources for Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century
But the more we appear in our own narratives, the more we move away from such attempts at empiricist ordering. The less nature seems to speak for itself. And the more the writer becomes visible as composer, crafts-person, or even creative genius. So it is that the work of reading (not of writing) becomes more personal: the balance between the author and whereof the writing tells is changed. 1 But what happens if the author moves from a single voice (whether that of empiricist, crafts-person or genius) to several voices?
The argument, then, is that one of the materials of sociation, face-to-face interaction (together with agency), is constituted in a particular, quite specific way, by the political economy of enterprise. I conclude the book with a short Postscript which reflects on the reactions to the manuscript both by its 'subjects ' and by professional colleagues and friends. Its purpose is analytical, and it reflects not so much on what people thought of the book (though this is considered in passing) but rather on the literary and political character of a modest sociology.
Recently I ta l ked a bout th is sense of pan i c with Steve Woolga r, a n experienced a n d sensitive la boratory eth nogra pher. I was encou raged ( Networks and Places 47 to d iscover that he a lso wrestled with a version of the sa me proble m . W e know, i n our heads, that we ca nnot describe everyt h i ng.