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Alabaster Cities
Urban U.S. since 1950

John Rennie Short

Cloth $29.95s    |    0-8156-3105-7    |    2006

Traces the evolution of urban America since 1950, uncovering the forces behind the full emergence of a metropolitan nation, a suburban society, and a series of fragmented civic communities.

"An in-depth, scholarly study of urban America since 1950, with especial focus on ‘urban renewal’ that all too often demolished working-class city zones that were not slums, failed to provide adequate public housing, and therefore left too many poor and lower-income people with no place to go; the positives and negatives of increasing suburbanization; and political and social fallout from changing urban and suburban dynamics. Though serious-minded, drawing heavily on research, and careful not to mistake correlation for causation (are suburbs often more conservative politically because conservatives tend to move there, or because life there tends to give residents a more conservative perspective), Alabaster Cities is thoroughly accessible to lay readers as well as scholarly readers. Highly recommended."
The Midwest Book Reiew

With keen insight and exhaustive research John Rennie Short narrates the story of urban America from 1950 to the present, revealing a compelling portrait of urban transformation. Short chronicles the steady rise of urbanization, the increasing suburbanization, and the sweeping metropolitanization of the U.S., uncovering the forces behind these shifts and their consequences for American communities.

Drawing on numerous studies, first-hand anecdotes, census figures, and other statistical data, Short’s work addresses the globalization of U.S. cities, the increased polarization of urban life in the U.S., the role of civic engagement, and the huge role played by the public sector in shaping the character of cities.

With deft analysis the author weaves together the themes of urban renewal, suburbanization and metropolitan fragmentation, race and ethnicity, and immigration, presenting a fascinating and highly readable account of the U.S. in the second half of the twentieth century.

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John Rennie Short is professor of geography and public policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He is the author of Making Space: Revisioning the World, 1475-1600, and New Worlds, New Geographies, both published by Syracuse University Press.

6 x 9, 248 pages, tables, figures, maps, appendix, reading guide, index

Alabaster Cities

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