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architecture and Suburbia : From English Villa to American Dream Hous, 1690-2000

Archer, John

Published by University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis - London, 2005
ISBN 10: 0816643032 / ISBN 13: 9780816643035
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Bibliographic Details

Title: architecture and Suburbia : From English ...

Publisher: University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis - London

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition


470 pp. (i). 117 b/w illustrations. Notes. Index. A historical and theoretical study of rise of the suburb in the United States. "Architectural historian John Archer suggests the endurance of the ideal house is deeply rooted in the notions of privacy, property and selfhood that were introduced in late seventeenth-century England and became the foundation of the American nation and identity." Internally clean and unmarked with sound binding. Grey paper covered boards are lightly sunned along head and tail edges. Light shelf wear to tail edges of boards and textblock. Dustjacket is protected by plastic book wrap. Size: 4to - over 9¾" - 12" tall. Bookseller Inventory # 006843

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Synopsis: The American suburban dream house - a single-family, detached dwelling, frequently clustered in tight rows and cul-de-sacs - has been attacked for some time as homogeneous and barren, yet the suburbs are home to half of Americans. Architectural historian John Archer suggests the endurance of the ideal house is deeply rooted in the notions of privacy, property, and selfhood that were introduced in late seventeenth-century England and became the foundation of the American nation and identity.Spanning four centuries, Architecture and Suburbia explores phenomena ranging from household furnishings and routines to the proliferation of the dream house in parallel with Cold War politics. Beginning with John Locke, whose Enlightenment philosophy imagined individuals capable of self-fulfillment, Archer examines the eighteenth-century British bourgeois villa and the earliest London suburbs. He recounts how early American homeowners used houses to establish social status and how twentieth-century Americans continued to flock to single-family houses in the suburbs, encouraged by patriotism, fueled by consumerism, and resisting disdain by disaffected youths, designers, and intellectuals alike. Finally, he recognizes "hybridized" or increasingly diverse American suburbs as the dynamic basis for a strengthened social fabric. From Enlightenment philosophy to rap lyrics, from the rise of a mercantile economy to discussions over neighborhoods, sprawl, and gated communities, Archer addresses the past, present, and future of the American dream house.

About the Author: John Archer is professor of cultural studies and comparative literature at the University of Minnesota. His book, The Literature of British Domestic Architecture, 1715-1842 (1985), is the standard reference on the subject, and he also contributed to the Encyclopedia of Urban America (1998) and the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture (2004).

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