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The Wealth Of Cities: Revitalizing The Centers Of American Life Paperback – June 1, 1999
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Norquist explains that sprawl is not the free-market American dream, but the (sometimes intended, sometimes unintended) result of Big Government gone amok: the government-built highways that subsidized migration from cities, the government schools that drive people away from cities, the government zoning regulations that shape new development into the conventional suburban mold.
All of the self-styled libertarians who swoon for the road lobby should read this book.
Having said that, I only gave this book four stars because it is written at a rather elementary level--great for teenagers, not so good as a scholarly resource. I would have liked more footnotes, more elaboration of key points (e.g. why government-run schools do so badly in urban areas)A.
Don't be mislead into thinking that Norquist is just another liberal with his hand out for the needy and distressed inner-city residents. Quite the opposite. In fact, one of his cenral points is that cities' addiction to public handouts has rendered them nearly incapable of taking care of themselves. He urges tough measures, such as radically scaling back welfare and public housing. He argues for school choice and tougher sentencing for criminals.
Norquist, the current mayor of Milwaukee, may well be at the forefront of a new centrist political movement in this country - a movement that is fiscally conservative, tough on crime, strong on the environment, and not beholden to special interests on either the right or the left.
The first several chapters of the book do suffer from a bit too many "here's what we did in Milwaukee" annecdotes. Non-policy wonks may be put to sleep by discussions of sidewalk repair schedules and city budgets. Once you get to chapter five, though, the book becomes much more universal in its scope.
Amazon's list of related books should include books like Peter Katz's The New Urbanism, Towards an Architecture of Community and James Howard Kunstler's Geography of Nowhere and Home From Nowhere.
John Montague Massengale AIA CNU
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Norquist, the former mayor of Milwaukee, presents a strong argument in favor of policies that promote cities as living, breathing places, instead of just a collection of people who... Read morePublished on October 13, 2008 by Jason Stokes