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Jackson, Kenneth T. Crabgrass Frontier: The Suburbanization of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1985.
In Crabgrass Frontier, Kenneth T. Jackson, a professor of history at Columbia University, outlines the extensive history of the motives behind the suburban boom. In Jackson's words, "this book is about American havens." He argues that the design of the spaces around us, such as roads, neighborhoods, yards, and houses, conditions our behavior. Jackson ties this idea of a "conditioned behavior" to the rise of the suburbs through instances such as the improvements in the public transportation system. He contends that the improvement in mass transit, beginning in the 19th century, first tied the city more tightly together. However, by 1900, as populations grew and spread, a new city developed which was segregated by class and race and it encompassed an area three times greater than the previous walking city. Jackson believes that this process, which he calls the "suburbanization of America," brought about a weakened sense of community for residents of the inner city. Jackson also describes the "overriding significance of race in America's housing patterns. To quote Jackson, "it is fear of those with a different skin color that has driven many people to seek the suburban sanctuary." Crabgrass Frontier presents both urban and suburban landscapes through the evolution and the impact that societal changes had on the landscapes. [J. Bixler]