Americans Against the City: Anti-Urbanism in the Twentieth by Steven Conn

By Steven Conn

T is a paradox of yank existence that we're a hugely urbanized state jam-packed with humans deeply ambivalent approximately city existence. An aversion to city density and all that it contributes to city lifestyles, and a notion that town used to be where the place "big government" first took root in the US fostered what historian Steven Conn phrases the "anti-urban impulse." In reaction, anti-urbanists known as for the decentralization of town, and rejected the position of presidency in American lifestyles in desire of a go back to the pioneer virtues of independence and self-sufficiency. during this provocative and sweeping publication, Conn explores the anti-urban impulse around the twentieth century, interpreting how the guidelines born of it have formed either the locations during which american citizens reside and paintings, and the anti-government politics so robust this day. starting within the booming business towns of the innovative period on the flip of the 20 th century, the place debate surrounding those questions first arose, Conn examines the development of anti-urban activities. : He describes the decentralist flow of the Nineteen Thirties, the try to revive the yank small city within the mid-century, the anti-urban foundation of city renewal within the Nineteen Fifties and '60s, and the Nixon administration's application of creating new cities as a reaction to the city trouble, illustrating how, through the center of the 20 th century, anti-urbanism was once on the heart of the politics of the recent correct. Concluding with an exploration of the hot Urbanist experiments on the flip of the twenty first century, Conn demonstrates the whole breadth of the anti-urban impulse, from its inception to the current day. Engagingly written, completely researched, and forcefully argued, americans opposed to the town is necessary examining for an individual who cares not only concerning the heritage of our towns, yet approximately their destiny in addition.

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93 The great writer must, then, express in his work 'the organic, indissoluble connection between man as a private individual and man as a social being, as a member of a community'. 94 Such a representation of the nature of the social totality is possible, argues Lukacs, here clearly following Engels, only if the writer creates typical characters in typical situations. 'The central category and criterion of realist literature', he writes, is the type, a peculiar synthesis which organically binds together 28 JOHN MILTON AND THE ENGLISH REVOLUTION the general and the particular both in characters and situations.

161 To Snow's account of the industrial revolution as an essentially beneficent process, Leavis replied that: 'This, of course, is mere brute assertion, callous in its irresponsibility . . the actual history has been ... ' 162 Leavis regards the existence of an organic community, such as that which existed in pre-industrial society, as one of the major preconditions for cultural health and prosperity. The breakdown of the organic community produces, according to Leavis, a rupture between sophisticated and popular culture.

And we have suggested that it must contain within itself a Hegelian appreciation of the nature of the historical process, an appreciation which can only be made concrete by reference to specific sociological analyses. Almost certainly it will require, too, an as yet undeveloped theory of the nature of the structural categories which inform individual aesthetic appreciation. For, whilst it is obviously true that realised literary tastes are a sociological, rather than a psychological, construct, these sociological processes presumably act upon other essentially psychological processes, of which they are, in part, both cause and consequence.

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