Cities of the Heartland

Cities of the Heartland

The Rise and Fall of the Industrial Midwest
Jon C. Teaford
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/22/1993
Format: Paperback 22 b&w photos
ISBN: 978-0-253-20914-6
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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.

Author Bio

JON C. TEAFORD is Professor of History at Purdue University. He is the author of a number of previous books on American urban history, including City and Suburb: The Political Fragmentation of Metropolitan America, 1850–1970 and The Rough Road to Renaissance: Urban Revitalization in America, 1940–1985.


““This is the best available study of midwestern cities of the US from the 1830s to the 1980s. . . . Combined with the author’s clear writing style and keen insight on how cities actually work, the result is an attractive synthesis that will find its way onto many syllabi.” —Choice “Recommended for all who want to learn about the origins of the contemporary urban crisis.” —Library Journal “ . . . well-written, clearly organized, thoroughly researched and informative.” —Cities “. . . Cities of the Heartland is the best history of the urban Midwest available today. It synthesizes earlier works with much new primary research to offer a descriptive and interpretive survey that is readable and quite comprehensive.” —Michigan Historical Review During the late 1800s, the rise of manufacturing, the first soaring skyscrapers, new symphony orchestras and art museums, and winning baseball teams all heralded the midwestern city’s coming of age.Teaford chronicles the development of these cities of the industrial Midwest as they challenged the urban supremacy of the East.”

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Table of Contents

The Urban Heartland

1. Creating the Urban Network
2. The Emerging Center of Urban America
3. Skyscrapers, Symphonies, and Ballparks: The Changing Physical and Cultural Complexion of the City
4. Automobiles and Reform: The Midwest Lead the Nation
5. In the Cultural Vanguard
6. After the Heyday
7. The Making of the Rust Belt

After Two Centuries