This first full-scale history of the development of the American suburb examines how “the good life” in America came to be equated with the a home of one’s own . Crabgrass Frontier is the first book to trace the growth of suburbs in America from their origins in the ‘s–in Brooklyn Heights opposite Manhattan–until the. JOHN O’LOUGHLIN. CRABGRASS FRONTIER: The Suburbanization of the United States. By. KENNETH T. JACKSON. x and pp.; maps, diagrs., ills., index.

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Other writers and academics have written on the subject of the increasing suburbanization of the U. He does not dtates so to an overbearing degree, and the book does not turn into a screed or polemic. Econ Journal Watch 5 1 pp. In fact, it began long before its emergence on the modern landscape.

Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States by Kenneth T. Jackson

Books by Kenneth T. Looking back almost one year later, I find Crabgrass Frontier to be more inspirational than I originally thought, clearly unitex definition of suburbs put forth by Jackson rings true and my comments about the imagination and American character also seem most valid.

The Baseball Trust Stuart Banner. It discusses quite effectively, that instead of what many would like to believe, that those that bought and moved out to the suburbs did so solely on their own, there was in fact a great amount of governmental aid, and extra-legal practices, that made the suburbs middle-class and overwhelmingly white.

Why does the US look so strange compared to other places with big cities, with failing urban cores surrounded by prosperous ticklike, even suburbs? Boring and highly informative, just as I expected. Why was the traditional urban form abandoned for the suburbs to the degree th For thousands of years, people lived in either the country or the city, but with the coming of sjburbanization industrial revolution that changed, and especially in America.


Jackson presented a strong argument that advanced several important historiographical themes that characterized urban scholarship.

Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States

There was so much amazing info I took 25 screencaps of Kindle pages I’m happy to send them if you doubt any of the below points! The larger ring of prosperous suburbs is protected from financial obligations by autonomous local government while still able to benefit from the structural benefits of the nearby downtown hub.

Yet, because Jackson presented his analysis as a synthesis, he exposed himself to generalizations that sometimes hurt his presentation. Firstly, the writing style is very dry, making the subject matter tedious and unnecessarily technical. Those wanting to understand the development of suburbia will find it a worthy guide, especially for its less strident tone as compared to an author like Jim Kunstler.

Crabgrass Frontier – Kenneth T. Jackson – Oxford University Press

Another book in the series of seminal urbanist books I want to read instead of actually going to grad school, this book explains the economic, social, historical, racial, philosophical, etc. In the nineteenth xuburbanization, it was common and relatively easy for cities to grow by annexing communities and rural areas, but by late in the century this was changing.

Developers understood that they benefited from an emphasis on highways rather than mass transit and Jackson covers this story convincingly.

After World War IIencouraged statds the emergence of new cities of wartime production and government assistance for veteransincreasing numbers of Americans could afford to buy homes. Some of the book’s prognostications fell flat, and some are still statez the process of playing out. Jackson placed much of the blame for the racialized nature of America’s suburbs squarely on the fronhier of the Federal Government.

The most important part of the tye is the look at the use of FHA loans for returning GIs and the use of red line practices, that went largely unchallenged by the government, in the development of how the suburbs came into being. But prediction is not really the focus of this book. After the Second World War, the need for housing presented another problem for the federal government and construction industry also responded by building up suburban areas rather than revitalizing urban areas.


By grading certain areas based on “desirability” i.

The simplest explanation, however, is that they could. People wanted to get out of the cities, or at least own their own property. The resulting decline of American stattes, says Jackson, is really an optical illusion — only a small part of cities have suffered from a shrinking economy and tax base.

What makes the book so important is that it shows how all the things we take for granted and assume are ordinary and natural are actually the result of strenuous effort and policy choices based on values which could in fact be very selfish.

Combining social history with economic and architectural history, the book discusses suburban suburbanixation in every section of the country as well as making comparisons with Europe and Japan.

Sep 27, Matthew Rohn rated it really liked it. Annals of the Association of American Geographersv.

Crabgrass Frontier

What once was a social problem that played out in the public circle has now ignited into a full fledged problem of the private life.

His talents rest on the long view of suburbanization, not only as a recent phenomenon, but as an evolving process between citizen, city, and federal government. However, he notes that the infrastructure of American suburbs will not ynited vanish if the process of suburbanization comes to a close, and any future developments will need to contend with the physical infrastructure that over a century and a half nearly two centuries, at this writing of suburbanization ststes deeded future generations.

Thus it is not surprising that the French have enthusiastically greeted an invasion by Long Island’s William J.