Teaching American History:

Postwar Suburbanization

Professor Zachary M. Schrag
Robinson B 375C. Tel. 703/993-1257
E-mail: zschrag (at) gmu.edu

Professor Schrag's website: www.schrag.info
Professor Schrag's courses: mason.gmu.edu/~zschrag

Suburbs, General



Baxandall, Rosalyn Fraad, and Elizabeth Ewen. Picture Windows: how the suburbs happened. New York, NY : Basic Books, 2000.

Emphasis on Long Island; rich in oral history.

Ceruzzi, Paul. “Tysons Corner, Virginia.” Knowledge, Technology, and Policy 13 (June 2000): 86 - 102

Some background on the coming of defense contracting.

Fishman, Robert, Bourgeois utopias: the rise and fall of suburbia.  New York: Basic Books, 1987.

Along with Crabgrass Frontier (below), part of an earlier generation of scholarship on the suburbs, with emphasis on wealthy, white residential suburbs.

Hayden, Dolores.  Building suburbia : green fields and urban growth, 1820-2000. New York: Pantheon Books, 2003.

A recent survey of suburban history, with references to some of the books on this list.

Hayden, Dolores.  A Field Guide to Sprawl . New York: W. W. Norton, 2004.

Compelling aerial photography by Jim Wark.

Jackson, Kenneth T.  Crabgrass frontier: the suburbanization of the United States.  New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.

See Fishman, above.

Kruse, Kevin M., and Thomas J. Sugrue, eds. The New Suburban History. University of Chicago Press, 2006.

Essays extracted from some of the most recent books in the field; a good introduction to the latest approaches to the subject.

Rome, Adam Ward.  The bulldozer in the countryside: suburban sprawl and the rise of American environmentalism.  Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

A detailed account of the consequences of hasty postwar development.

Schrag, Zachary M. The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.

Chapter 9 contrasts Metro-related planning in Arlington and Fairfax counties.

Stilgoe, John R.  Borderland: origins of the American suburb, 1820-1939.  New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.

Not a book about postwar suburbs, but a good reminder that not everything was new after the Second World War.

Wiese Andrew.  Places of their own : African American suburbanization in the twentieth century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

An oft-forgotten chapter.


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