From Library Journal
The history of the suburbs has only recently attracted the attention of scholars, yet these two volumes demonstrate that the study of suburbs reveals much about the ideals and realities of American life. Ebner's book, which is a social history of eight towns along Lake Michigan, from Evanston to Waukegan, describes how each developed its own distinct character as wealthy Chicagoans left the city to establish communities suited to a particular set of ideals or preferences. The founders enliven the pages of his book, and their utopian visions, long forgotten, explain somebut not allof the characteristics of the suburb as we know it. Keating's work studies the less-than-utopian vision that lies behind the more troubling aspects of suburban development. Her political history closely examines local government, services, and site development. Bristling with facts about water systems, public health, market services, incorporation, and annexation, and including 30 tables and 12 maps, this book is not for the faint-hearted. But it shows, in no uncertain terms, the role of real estate developers as well as governments in launching the exclusionary, separatist attitudes that today make the relations between cities and their suburbs so difficult. Both books belong in urban history collections; Ebner's will find readers in urban and suburban public libraries. Mary Drake McFeely, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.