Since the 1920s, the United States has seen a dramatic reversal in living patterns, with a majority of Americans now residing in suburbs. This mass emigration from cities is one of the most fundamental social and geographical transformations in recent US history. Suburbanization has not only produced a distinct physical environment—it has become a major defining force in the construction of twentieth-century American culture. Employing over 200 primary sources, illustrations, and critical essays, The Suburb Reader documents the rise of North American suburbanization from the 1700s through the present day. Through thematically organized chapters it explores multiple facets of suburbia’s creation and addresses its indelible impact on the shaping of gender and family ideologies, politics, race relations, technology, design, and public policy. Becky Nicolaides’ and Andrew Wiese’s concise commentaries introduce the selections and contextualize the major themes of each chapter. Distinctive in its integration of multiple perspectives on the evolution of the suburban landscape, The Suburb Reader pays particular attention to the long, complex experiences of African Americans, immigrants, and working people in suburbia. Encompassing an impressive breadth of chronology and themes, The Suburb Reader is a landmark collection of the best works on the rise of this modern social phenomenon.
Politicians, the media, and many environmentalists assume that well-off populations won't make sacrifices now for future environmental benefits and won't change their patterns and perceptions of consumption to make ecological room for the world's three billion or so poor eager to improve their standard of living. Challenges these assumptions, arguing that they limit our policy options, weaken our ability to imagine bold action for change, and blind us to the ways sacrifice already figures in everyday life. The chapters bring a variety of disciplinary perspectives to the topic. Contributors offer alternatives to the conventional wisdom on sacrifice; identify connections between sacrifice and human fulfillment in everyday life, finding such concrete examples as parents' sacrifices in raising children, religious practice, artists' pursuit of their art, and soldiers and police officers who risk their lives to do their jobs; and examine particular policies and practices that shape our understanding of environmental problems, including the carbon tax, incentives for cyclists, and the perils of green consumption.