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City of American Dreams: A History of Home Ownership and Housing Reform in Chicago, 1871-1919

Margaret Garb

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ISBN 10: 0226282104 / ISBN 13: 9780226282107
Published by University of Chicago Press
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Paperback. 280 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 5.9in. x 0.8in.In this vivid portrait of life in Chicago in the fifty years after the Civil War, Margaret Garb traces the history of the American celebration of home ownership. As the nation moved from an agrarian to an industrialized urban society, the competing visions of capitalists, reformers, and immigrants turned the urban landscape into a testing ground for American values. Neither a natural progression nor an inevitable outcome, the ideal of home ownership emerged from the struggles of industrializing cities. Garb skillfully narrates these struggles, showing how the American infatuation with home ownership left the nations cities sharply divided along class and racial lines. Based on research of real estate markets, housing and health reform, and ordinary homeownersAfrican American and white, affluent and working classCity of American Dreams provides a richly detailed picture of life in one of Americas great urban centers. Garb shows that the pursuit of a single-family house set on a tidy yard, commonly seen as the very essence of the American dream, resulted from clashes of interests and decades of struggle. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Bookseller Inventory # 9780226282107

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Bibliographic Details

Title: City of American Dreams: A History of Home ...

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:New

Book Type: Paperback

About this title


The recent housing market crash shattered Americans' boundless faith in home ownership. "City of American Dreams" is an innovative history of our national obsession with real estate. Margaret Garb reveals that the aspiration for single-family home ownership was forged in impoverished immigrant neighborhoods in industrializing cities. It was late nineteenth-century health and housing reformers who, along with the talented marketing of real estate developers, transformed an immigrant ideal into a mark of the middle class and the American Dream. After 1900, the pursuit of home ownership was inextricably linked to growing racial segregation in northern cities, ultimately leading to the emergence of urban landscapes sharply divided by race and class. Garb demonstrates that the very essence of the American Dream - the single-family house set on a tidy yard - was neither natural nor an inevitable expression of American identity. Rather, it resulted from decades of struggle among homeowners, builders, developers, reformers, and policy makers.

About the Author:

Margaret Garb is associate professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis.

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