The concern today about suburban sprawl is not new. In the decades after World War II, the spread of tract-house construction changed the nature of millions of acres of land, and a variety of Americans began to protest against the environmental costs of suburban development. By the mid-1960s, indeed, many of the critics were attempting to institutionalize an urban land ethic. The Bulldozer in the Countryside was the first scholarly work to analyze the successes and failures of the varied efforts to address the environmental consequences of suburban growth from 1945 to 1970. For scholars and students of American history, the book offers a compelling insight into two of the great stories of modern times - the mass migration to the suburbs and the rise of the environmental movement. The book also offers a valuable historical perspective for participants in contemporary debates about the alternatives to sprawl.
• Provides a major interpretation of the rise of environmentalism in the United States • Gives the historical perspective on the problem of suburban sprawl, a major public issue of concern • Offers a way of looking at the historical consequences of America's post-1945 affluence
Introduction; 1. Levitt's progress: the rise of the suburban-industrial complex; 2. From the solar house to the all-electric home: the postwar debates over heating and cooling; 3. Septic-tank suburbia: the problem of waste disposal at the metropolitan fringe; 4. Open space: the first protests against the bulldozed landscape; 5. Where not to build: the campaigns to protect wetlands, hillsides, and floodplains; 6. Water, soil, and wildlife: the federal critiques of tract-house development; 7. Toward a land ethic: the quiet revolution in land-use regulation; Conclusion.