Dreaming Suburbia is a cultural and historical interpretation of the political economy of postwar American suburbanization. Questions of race, class, and gender are explored through novels, film, television and social criticism where suburbia features as a central theme. Although suburbanization had important implications for cities and for the geo-politics of race, critical considerations of race and urban culture often receive insufficient attention in cultural studies of suburbia. This book puts these questions back in the frame by focusing on Detroit, Dearborn and Ford history, and the local suburbs of Inkster and Garden City. Covering such topics as the political and cultural economy of suburban sprawl, the interdependence of city and suburb, and local acts of violence and crises during the 1967 riots, the text examines the making of a physical place, its cultural effects and social exclusions. The perspectives of cultural history, American studies, social science, and urban studies give Dreaming Suburbia an interdisciplinary appeal.
Book — 1 online resource (x, 287 pages) : illustrations Digital: data file.
Planning for the atomic age : creating a community of experts
The city as a communication system
Cybernetics and urban renewal
Urban intelligence gathering
Moon-shot management for American cities
Cable as a Cold War technology
During the early decades of the Cold War, large-scale investments in American defense and aerospace research and development spawned a variety of problem-solving techniques, technologies, and institutions. From systems analysis to reconnaissance satellites to think tanks, these innovations did not remain exclusive accessories of the defense establishment. Instead, they readily found civilian applications in both the private and public sector. City planning and management were no exception. Jennifer Light argues that the technologies and values of the Cold War fundamentally shaped the history of postwar urban America. From Warfare to Welfare documents how American intellectuals, city leaders, and the federal government chose to attack problems in the nation's cities by borrowing techniques and technologies first designed for military engagement with foreign enemies. Experiments in urban problem solving adapted the expertise of defense professionals to face new threats: urban chaos, blight, and social unrest. Tracing the transfer of innovations from military to city planning and management, Light reveals how a continuing source of inspiration for American city administrators lay in the nation's preparations for war. (source: Nielsen Book Data)