The Suburban Myth

The Suburban Myth

The Suburban Myth

The Suburban Myth

Excerpt

The impression that the American suburb has been grossly and unfairly maligned first developed when I was covering a suburban "beat" for a metropolitan daily newspaper in the mid-1950s. After I became editor of a suburban weekly newspaper and our family moved to the suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota, in 1959, the impression solidified to conviction. Bloomington turned out to be a far better place to live than we could remotely have suspected had we listened to the tirade of critical abuse printed in such best- selling books as The Organization Man (1956), The Crack in the Picture Window (1956), The Split-Level Trap (later, in 1961), and in countless magazine articles. The first thing I wanted to say, then, was that suburbs have been unjustly, and irrationally, accused of all sorts of vices which they neither produce nor harbor.

The often emotional attack on suburbia reached its virulent peak during the Eisenhower years of the middle and late 1950s, and it has persisted to this day despite the publication of recent, reasonable studies by such scholars as Bennett Berger, William M. Dobriner, Herbert J. Gans, and Robert C. Wood. In this book the attack is examined, point by point. Playing the role of advocate, I have tried to dismiss those charges that are unsupported by the evidence and to admit guilt in those cases where no other plea is possible. The Suburban Myth , in other words, consists largely of a critical review of the literature on suburbia appearing in the years since World War II. Where it has seemed applicable I have referred to the experience of Bloomington or of other Twin Cities . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.