Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, Front Cover. Dolores Hayden. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Nov 4. Hayden asks hard questions about who has benefited from the suburban Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, Dolores Hayden. Dolores Hayden’s Building Suburbia: Greenfields and Urban Growth, chronicles “ years of metropolitan development in the United States” that.

Author: Mezikree Dill
Country: Egypt
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Photos
Published (Last): 17 February 2011
Pages: 375
PDF File Size: 11.63 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.71 Mb
ISBN: 422-4-55750-558-3
Downloads: 40485
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kazrabar

Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820-2000

Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Building Suburbia by Dolores Hayden. From rustic cottages reached by steamboat to big box stores at the exit ramps of eight-lane highways, Dolores Hayden defines seven eras of suburban development since Residents have sought home, nature, and community in suburbia. Developers have cherished different dreams, seeking profit from economies of scale and increased suburban densities, while lobbying local and federal government to reduce the risk of real estate speculation.

Paperbackpages. Published November 9th by Vintage first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Building Suburbiaplease sign up. Lists with This Book. Sep 01, Nathan Albright rated it did not like it Shelves: This book was intensely frustrating to read. Indeed, this volume, which has about pages of the author bloviating on topics related to the long history of suburban development in the United States, is all the evidence one would need to demonstrate how a misguided political worldview hinders one from obvious insights and basic knowledge about what the writer is writing about.

The author seems to think that “conservative” is a pejorative expression, and it is one she uses often in an ad homin This book was intensely frustrating to read. The author seems to think that “conservative” is a pejorative expression, and it is one she uses often in an ad hominem fashion, as if to be right-of-center politically is to mean that one’s behavior is automatically bad for the ordinary people that the author claims to support.

After reading this book, I was convinced that the world would likely be a better place if the author were flattened and macadamized to make a road to some greenfield suburb so that she could stop writing terrible books like this one.

And as is so often the case in books that deal with property and development [1], the worldview error of the author is the central problem from which the book’s failure flows. Given the author’s strident tone and call for activism among readers, it is unlikely that this error is soon to be improved.

This volume’s contents are divided into three parts and eleven chapters. The author begins with a preface and acknowledgements and then proceeds to write about the American metropolitan landscape I with a discussion about the shapes of suburbia 1 and the suburban city 2. After that several chapters examine in a more or less chronological fashion some historic patterns of suburbs in the landscape IImoving from borderlands 3 to picturesque enclaves 4to streetcar buildouts 5to mail-order and self-built suburbs 6 to sitcom suburbs 7to edge nodes 8 and finally to rural fringes 9.

After this comes a couple of chapters where the author pontificates on the future of suburbs III with a look at nostalgia and futurism 10 and attempts to encourage the smart development of older suburbs 11 in order to increase density and provide housing for all kinds of illegal immigrants. Throughout the volume the author makes note of various thinkers who are like her, as if that is a good thing.

Over and over again, the author makes snarky comments about conservative people, and posits a false dilemma between the desire of Americans to escape living in the city and avoid the high-density sort of housing that the author endorses and the businesses that provide for that through property speculation and development.


Far from being the villains of the American story, as the author appears to believe, property speculators have always been among the heroes of the efforts to provide a wide base of Americans ahyden property to develop for their own economic and political independence, efforts which the author denigrates at every possible opportunity.

Sububia author appears to think that the United States should be like Europe, the sign of buildingg and political bankruptcy as far as someone’s worldview is concerned. Unable to appreciate and enjoy the United States and its development as it is, and comment that the gigantism in terms of politics and business is a serious problem that leads to a great deal of the sprawl that we find, the author consistently urges a desire for high-density construction even having nice words to say about massive socialistic housing projects and intrusive neighbors, and disregards the consistent American preference for low-density construction that provides a sense of distance between personal life and the problems of the city that we wish so strenuously to avoid.

The author’s political worldview makes her tone deaf to the fact that people genuinely like living in suburb and exurbs and do not want to live in the city unless they are corrupt Eurotrash hipsters like she is.

Mar 20, Kristin rated it really liked it Shelves: Really interesting study of how our current suburban landscapes came to be. I agree with her conclusions about how to foster sustainable development in the future, and I think she’d be glad to see that they have been increasingly implemented over the decade or so since the book came out.

Jul 10, Brendan Dawe rated it really liked it. An overall good and informative read, particularly moving past the first chapter on 19th century rich people’s houses.

Did you know that Levittown was built without septic tanks or sewers, but rather outdoor cess pits?

Building Suburbia — DOLORES HAYDEN

Levittown’s infrastructural defects required, according to the author, a substantial bailout from the state of New York. May 12, Karl rated it it was amazing. Exceptional history of American suburban development—couldn’t be more straightforward. Apr 02, Samuel rated it really liked it.

Although the book is well documented with endnotes—many of which cite secondary sources such as Warner, Longstreth, Stilgoe, etc. In many ways, this conflict parallels the theme of negotiation between company town managers and employees that Alison K. Whether it be socioeconomic exclusion in 19th century streetcar suburbs; redlining, racial covenants, or physical walls used to exclude African-Americans from the mid-century sitcom suburbs, or imbalance tax codes that leave single women out of home ownership in the edge node developments of the s, Hayden does not shy away from exposing inequalities espoused by both corporations and government agencies throughout American history.

On the other hand, Hayden also demonstrates environments of negotiation: But unlike other academic and journalistic works, she suggests that the past suburbs are themselves the alternative solution to the problem of sprawl.

Although this idea is not fully flushed out here in the conclusion of the book, it does demonstrate a more constructive view of addressing the American paradox of largely condemning but also preferring suburban housing.

Building Suburbia

Mar 12, blue-collar suburbix rated it really liked it. I could give you some excellent examples of my suburban cred-I’ll give you two: I would ride my bike to y tiny side or back yard, and just leave it laying there til i wanted to ride it again.

I had no idea how to take a bus until I was a teenager and then still got confused. Lucky for me, my urban mother moved me to the city when I was a teenager and I escaped its grown-up clutches.

Maybe because of that, I go back to that suburb and find sweet things to muse about almost every time. Suburbia has i I could give you some excellent examples of my suburban cred-I’ll give you two: Suburbia has its many detractors.

It has few supporters. I won’t say this author is in either camp entirely. She does seem to understand them, which of course suburbiaa the first step to changing them. I had no idea. But now I do. I can roam the old cities Buildjng see and find the patterns from “borderlands” Ohio City in Cleveland to the Garden District in New Orleans”picturesque enclaves” oh my Lakewood for sure to “streetcar suburbs” my current neighborhood of MidCity New Orleans and so on.


Builders not necessarily developers in every case were the main actors, we all know that but not always for the reasons you would think, is her argument. The communitarian movement, women needing to find paid work and so on. Another round of applause for how she incorporates what has been written before.

Building Suburbia by Dolores Hayden | : Books

How can you write about suburbs and not mention the brilliant “Crabgrass Frontier”? Just like some suburbs. Building Suburbia is a capable synthesis of historical and recent scholarship on the development of the suburbs in America.

Hayden, haydem professor of architecture and urbanism and professor of American Studies at Yale, knows hwyden she is talking about. It was clear to me that this book is written for a general, rather then specialized audience.

Hayden’s writting style is easy to understand, and she provides multiple in text illustrations and photographs to illuminate the text. The book tracks the his Building Suburbia is a capable synthesis of historical and recent scholarship on the development of the suburbs in America.

The book tracks the historical development of suburbs in time the subtitle is “Green Fields and Urban Growth This historical approach is book ended by an introduction with two chapters and a conclusion with two chapters. Hayden includes excellent dolorees notes and a selected bibliography that is worthwhile to have on your shelf.

Since this book was written inthe bibliography is chock full of RECENT books on urban studies that allow the student or buildkng reader to follow up in any number of directions. Jun 08, Ian rated it did not like it. At times interesting history of the changing pattern of suburban and rural development in the United States punctuated by bloated diction and terribly misguided substories. In particular the hamhanded effort to paint much of urban development as a racist plot against minorities.

That part is bad enough, but the sophomoric feminist rant against male driven family structures Life on the New Frontier Does a far better job of addressing the race question in regard to urban development Jul 17, Daniel rated it it was ok Shelves: The academic writing style is not my favorite style. This is definitely written in that style. The book does do a good job of explaining the history of and development of the rural and suburban life style and I enjoyed those parts.

I however couldn’t get over the dolords feminist rants and odd ideas about race and the urban environments. I am obviously not the target audience for this book. Reads more like a doctorate dissertation than a readable history book. I gave it two stars because the hist The academic writing style is not my favorite style.

I gave it two stars because the history part was sound and interesting and would of gave it more stars except for the obvious political bias that hit you over the head over and over again.

Jun 21, Wade rated it it was amazing. One of the best books anywhere on anything. Then you take the fact that we bkilding fascinated with where humans live and how we came to this odd suburban arrangement and you really see her strength.

The intelligent time lines leading from the s to modern mcmansion is impressive and her chapter on sitcom suburbs is brilliant haydden the communist red aspect of Levitttown.

Hayden writes quick and crisp and lays out segments you’ll want to quote later. Her closing chapters talk poignantly about h One of the best books anywhere on anything. Her closing chapters talk poignantly about how public history can help reconnect suburbs and honor the hard work creating community when those places were raw and new.