1st Edition

The American Suburb
The Basics

ISBN 9780415951654
Published July 6, 2007 by Routledge
288 Pages

USD $45.95

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Book Description

The American Suburb: The Basics is a compact, readable introduction to the origins and contemporary realities of the American suburb. Teaford provides an account of contemporary American suburbia, examining its rise, its diversity, its commercial life, its government, and its housing issues. While offering a wide-ranging yet detailed account of the dominant way of life in America today, Teaford also explores current debates regarding suburbia’s future. Americans live in suburbia, and this essential survey explains the all-important world in which they live, shop, play, and work.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Creating Suburbia  2. Diverse Suburbia  3. Commercial Suburbia  4. Governing Suburbia  5. Housing Suburbia  6. Planning Suburbia  7. The Basics

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Jon C. Teaford is Professor Emeritus in the department of history at Purdue University. He is the author of nine previous books. Among his books on American urban history are Post-Suburbia: Government and Politics in Edge Cities (1997) and The Metropolitan Revolution: The Rise of Post-Urban America (2006).


"Teaford’s latest book is appropriate for either an undergraduate or graduate course in urban geography. It is both well written and well researched. He provides ample documentation from secondary sources including government records, newspapers, town hall meeting notes, and statistics from credible sources that illustrate his point and support his argument. This book is an excellent beginning to the process of understanding and explaining the basics of suburban life today, and will provide students with fodder for animated and in-depth class debates." -- JOURNAL OF REGIONAL SCIENCE, VOL. 50, NO. 2, 2010

"Jon C. Teaford's thoughtful overview of American suburban culture explores the evolution of suburbia, acknowledging its diversity, commerce, and governance, as well as the residential and planning issues that often breed conflict within these liminal spaces...Although this volume will appeal to scholars of twentieth-century American life, it is engaging and easily accessible for those simply interested in learning more about the urban sprawl that surrounds us." -- Indiana Magazine of History, June 2010