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Americans Against the City

Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth Century
Narrated by: Kevin Stillwell
Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

It is a paradox of American life that we are a highly urbanized nation filled with people deeply ambivalent about urban life. An aversion to urban density and all that it contributes to urban life, and a perception that the city was the place where "big government" first took root in America fostered what historian Steven Conn terms the "anti-urban impulse." In response, anti-urbanists called for the decentralization of the city, and rejected the role of government in American life in favor of a return to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency.

In this provocative and sweeping audiobook, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse across the 20th century, examining how the ideas born of it have shaped both the places in which Americans live and work, and the anti-government politics so strong today. Beginning in the booming industrial cities of the Progressive era at the turn of the 20th century, where debate surrounding these questions first arose, Conn examines the progression of anti-urban movements. He describes the decentralist movement of the 1930s, the attempt to revive the American small town in the mid-century, the anti-urban basis of urban renewal in the 1950s and '60s, and the Nixon administration's program of building new towns as a response to the urban crisis, illustrating how, by the middle of the 20th century, anti-urbanism was at the center of the politics of the New Right.

Concluding with an exploration of the New Urbanist experiments at the turn of the 21st century, Conn demonstrates the full breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the present day. Engagingly written, thoroughly researched, and forcefully argued, Americans Against the City is important for anyone who cares not just about the history of our cities, but about their future as well.

©2014 Oxford University Press (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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The misunderstood American City gym


This book on Americans against the city is perhaps the most important book on urban studies thus far this century. understand how cities got through the 20th century. It shows how we flip flop how we made the mistakes on this country‘s greatest resource: it’s people in its cities

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-30-18

very informative

this book is interesting... it made me have a better perspective on the current urban movement and its roots in history. although it's about American urban history, but it is beneficial for any urbanist across the world