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Manufacturing Suburbs Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe by Robert Lewis

Manufacturing Suburbs Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe


Manufacturing Suburbs Building Work and Home on the Metropolitan Fringe by Robert Lewis

Urban historians have long portrayed suburbanization as the result of a bourgeois exodus from the city, coupled with the introduction of streetcars that enabled the middle class to leave the city for the more sylvan surrounding regions. Demonstrating that this is only a partial version of urban history, Manufacturing Suburbs reclaims the history of working-class suburbs by examining the development of industrial suburbs in the United States and Canada between 1850 and 1950. The contributors demonstrate that these suburbs developed in large part because of the location of manufacturing beyond city limits and the subsequent building of housing for the workers who labored within those factories.Through case studies of industrial suburbanization and industrial suburbs in several metropolitan areas (Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, and Montreal), Manufacturing Suburbs sheds light on a key phenomenon of metropolitan development before the Second World War. Robert Lewis is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Manufacturing Montreal: The Making of an Industrial Landscape, 1850 to 1930 and co-editor of Urban History Review .


The objectives of this collection of theoretically inclined and empirically defended essays by well-respected scholars of suburban-industrial growth are successfully met.The great value of this book, then, is the successful melding of a North American perspective that establishes a meaningful benchmark for further research in the field. The Canadian Historical Review The foremost merit of the book lies in the quality of the different contributions, written by major researchers in the field of urban history. Together, they provide a comprehensive view of the pre-World War Two evolution of manufacturing in North American metropolitan regions and of its impact on their urban structure. Urban Studies In Manufacturing Suburbs, edited by Robert Lewis, eleven authors have done a pioneering and impressive job of sorting out some of the many complexities of industrial suburbanization in the United States and Canada during the century from 1850 to 1950. All in all, Manufacturing Suburbs is an excellent study that should lead the way to further research into a hitherto neglected aspect of suburban history. The Journal of American History At base, the arguments set out in this collection challenge a considerable amount of the collective wisdom about North American suburbs and will stimulate scholars and students to rethink what suburbs consist of and what the relationships are between cities and suburbs... This work strikes at the heart of scholars
thinking about what suburbia looks like and was

/is and who or what lived/lives there. --Mary Corbin Sies, University of Maryland

About the Author

Robert Lewis is from the Black Mountains, in the Brecon Beacons. THE LAST LLANELLI TRAIN, his first novel, was nominated for the 2006 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction; SWANSEA TERMINAL and BANK OF THE BLACK SHEEP completed the critically acclaimed series. DARK ACTORS is his first non-fiction book. It deals with a subject that has haunted him for a decade.

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Book Info

Publication date

5th August 2004


Robert Lewis

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Temple University Press,U.S.


304 pages


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