A Choice Outstanding Academic Book of 1993
"Recommended for all who want to learn about the origins of the contemporary urban crisis." —Library Journal
Teaford writes a definitive history of the transformation of "America's heartland" into the "Rust Belt," chronicling the development of the cities of the industrial Midwest as they challenged the urban supremacy of the East, from their heyday to the trying times of the 1970s and '80s. The early part of this century brought wealth and promise to the heartland: automobile production made Detroit a boomtown, and automobile-related industries enriched communities; Frank Lloyd Wright and the Prairie School of architects asserted the Midwest's aesthetic independence; Sherwood Anderson and Carl Sandburg established Chicago as a literary mecca; Jane Addams made the Illinois metropolis an urban laboratory for experiments in social justice. Soon, however, emerging Sunbelt cities began to rob such cities as Cincinnati, Saint Louis, and Chicago of their distinction as boom areas, foreshadowing urban crisis.