Download Don't Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of by Lily Geismer PDF

By Lily Geismer

Don’t Blame Us lines the reorientation of contemporary liberalism and the Democratic get together clear of their roots in hard work union halls of northern towns to white-collar execs in postindustrial high-tech suburbs, and casts new gentle at the value of suburban liberalism in smooth American political tradition. concentrating on the suburbs alongside the high-tech hall of course 128 round Boston, Lily Geismer demanding situations traditional scholarly checks of Massachusetts exceptionalism, the decline of liberalism, and suburban politics within the wake of the increase of the recent correct and the Reagan Revolution within the Nineteen Seventies and Eighties. even supposing just a small part of the inhabitants, wisdom pros in Massachusetts and somewhere else have come to wield large political leverage and gear. through probing the probabilities and obstacles of those suburban liberals, this wealthy and nuanced account indicates that—far from being an exception to nationwide trends—the suburbs of Massachusetts provide a version for knowing nationwide political realignment and suburban politics within the moment 1/2 the 20th century.

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Extra resources for Don't Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of the Democratic Party

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62 The dependence on property tax to finance local education No Ordinary Suburbs 29 and town services and the increased demand for housing made it more economical for low-­density towns to remove land from the market entirely rather than risk an increase in the number of families that could not share the tax burden. By allowing only large-­lot zoning and limited industry, towns like Lincoln, Lexington, and Concord had smaller school enrollments and less demand for police, fire, and road maintenance, and were thus able to offer better services at lower rates.

Brookline’s action set off a chain reaction in other communities throughout Boston and the nation that would have profound consequences. 34 This decision set Brookline and Roxbury on different trajectories. 36 Developers and homeowners often placed formal restrictive covenants in residential deeds preventing houses from being sold to racial or ethnic minorities, or used more informal gentlemen’s agreements, which served largely the same function. 38 Many of the Boston area’s wealthier towns during the interwar period exacerbated these divisive patterns by adopting rigid zoning and municipal planning laws to preserve both their physical characteristics and economic exclusivity.

2 As white upper-­middle class professionals with ties to MIT and Harvard, Wood and Brooks embodied the demographic profile and outlook of many of the new residents who moved into single-­family homes in the predominantly white, affluent neighborhoods of Lincoln and its surrounding communities in the postwar era. Homeowners in Lincoln and its counterparts shared a view of their communities as distinct from the typical mass-­ produced postwar suburbs like Levittown or Lakewood, and saw themselves as being different from the average conformist, homogeneous, or ordinary suburbanite criticized by C.

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