America's Undeclared War by Daniel Lazare
What's Killing Our Cities and How We Can Stop It

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"I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of man," wrote Thomas Jefferson in 1800, sounding a note that has echoed throughout American history. In this bracing reexamination, Daniel Lazare traces the progress of America's unwavering war on its cities and looks at the profound consequences.

From Jefferson through Henry Ford and Franklin Roosevelt to the present, we have labored to wither our cities, simultaneously fouling our air and our landscape, depleting our energy resources to feed our automobiles and neglecting any form of community other than hollow, homogenous suburbs. And yet the average American has a smaller share of the country's wealth than the average European and less opportunity to improve his or her lot.

Provocative and enlightening, America's Undeclared War exposes a prejudice both fundamental and destructive to American culture. With a mordant wit and a refreshing clarity, Lazare offers a vision that can re-invigorate us, our communities, and our future.


About Daniel Lazare

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Daniel Lazare is the author of the iconoclastic study of the U.S. Constitution, The Frozen Republic, a Book-of-the-Month Club selection. He has written about race, drugs, and urban policy for a wide variety of publications, including Harper's, The American Prospect, and Le Monde Diplomatique. He lives in Manhattan.
Published April 23, 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 368 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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The author proceeds chronologically through what he identifies as three major urban crises, the most deleterious of which was precipitated by what he calls “Fordism”—the creation by Henry Ford of an automobile economy that encouraged flight to the suburbs, where today millions live boring, wastef...

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""I view great cities as pestilential to the morals, the health, and the liberties of man,"" said Thomas Jefferson, voicing a concern of many early Americans about the moral--and, implicitly, democratic and political--superiority of rural over urban life.

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