The history of the American city is, in many ways, the history of the United States. Although rural traditions have also left their impact on the country, cities and urban living have been vital components of America for centuries, and an understanding of the urban experience is essential to comprehending America’s past. America’s Urban History is an engaging and accessible overview of the life of American cities, from Native American settlements before the arrival of Europeans to the present-day landscape of suburban sprawl, urban renewal, and a heavily urbanized population.
The book provides readers with a rich chronological and thematic narrative, covering themes including:
- The role of cities in the European settlement of North America
- Cities and westward expansion
- Social reform in the industrialized cities
- The impact of the New Deal
- The growth of the suburbs
- The relationships between urban forms and social issues of race, class, and gender
Covering the evolving story of the American city with depth and insight, America's Urban History will be the first stop for all those seeking to explore the American urban experience.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Discovering and Defining the "City upon a Hill"
Chapter One: Pre-Colonial and Seventeenth-Century Native American Settlements
Chapter Two: Transplanting Cities and Urban Networks: Spain, France, and Holland in Colonial America, 1565-1821
Chapter Three: City, Plantation, Metropolis: The Anglo-American Urban Experience, 1587-1800
Chapter Four: An Urban Frontier: The American West, 1800-1869
Chapter Five: The Urban Cauldron: City Growth and the Rise of Social Reform, 1850-1920
Chapter Six: The Urban Nation: Middletown and Metropolis
Chapter Seven: New Deal, New Cities: The 1930s
Chapter Eight: War and Postwar Metropolis: Cites, Suburbs, and Exurbs, 1940s-1950s
Chapter Nine: The Frontier of Imagination: American Cities in the 1960s
Chapter Ten: Attempting Revival and Renaissance: The 1970s-1980s
Chapter Eleven: The Modern City: Fear, Technology, and Inequality, 1990-Present
Lisa Krissoff Boehm is Interim Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Worcester State University.
Steven H. Corey is Professor and Chair of the Department of Humanities, History, and Social Sciences at Columbia College Chicago.
Together, they are the editors of The American Urban Reader, an anthology of primary and secondary sources in American urban history.
Historians of working-class women, Boehm and Corey offer a strongly interdisciplinary approach to US urban history...The volume is strong on race, ethnicity, suburbanization, and deindustrialization. Tailored to college and university undergraduates, the text is especially appropriate for urban history collections with an interdisciplinary focus. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All academic levels/libraries.
—J.F. Bauman, University of Southern Maine, in CHOICE
America's Urban History is a comprehensive and beautifully written text that effectively incorporates all regions of the country into a synthesis of America's urban past. This is a thoroughly researched and timely book that is essential reading for anyone interested in urban America.
—Carol Lynn McKibben, author of Beyond Cannery Row: Sicilian Women, Immigration, and Community in Monterey, California, 1915-1999
One of the best features of America’s Urban History is its coverage. The text is particularly unique and useful on the front end by discussing the pre-Columbian era, and on the back end, by moving into the 21st century. Attention to the American West also is welcome. Boehm and Corey obviously have given a great deal of thought to their presentation.
—Martin V. Melosi, author of The Sanitary City: Urban Infrastructure in America from Colonial Times to the Present
In this volume Boehm and Corey apply their ample experience in the teaching and study of urban America to the task of achieving a much-needed understanding of the metropolitan world which surrounds us. Through their efforts students should be able to comprehend the American metropolis and acquire insight into the urban environment which has molded us and which we will fashion in the future.
—Jon C. Teaford, author of The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America