Author(s): James Howard Kunstler
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Home from Nowhere : Remaking Our Everyday World for the Twenty-First Century
Deep down, many Americans are dissatisfied with suburbia — though they have trouble understanding what’s missing, writes James Howard Kunstler in this semi-sequel to his critically-acclaimed Geography of Nowhere. Much of this engaging book tries to fill in the holes. Modernist architecture and inhumane zoning laws have made suburbanites prisoners to a car culture that is overly friendly to ugly strip malls and actively hostile to the development of healthy, vibrant communities, says Kunstler. We must return to the idea of Main Street America, where people live, work and shop among neighbors they know and trust. Here’s how.
The New York Times Book Review, Alexander Garvin
Kunstler’s is the latest in a long line of polemics that employ colorful writing and vivid illustrations to decry the ugliness that pervades the American landscape.
From Booklist , October 15, 1996
In The Geography of Nowhere (1993), Kunstler, a novelist, ardent and perceptive citizen-observer, and masterful rhetorician, began his study of why suburbs, neglected Main Streets, and squandered cities are so bereft of beauty. Here, he continues his critique of American architecture, culture, and values and, in the process, identifies the source of the malaise people experience in and around the hideous structures that make every suburb resemble every other suburb. This degradation of the public realm is, Kunstler vehemently declares, nothing less than the degradation of the common good. Leaving aside architectural issues for the moment, Kunstler launches into a provocative discussion of the consequences of becoming consumers rather than citizens, of abandoning the community for an addiction to television, and of the corporate colonization of cities and the countryside. After both riling and delighting the reader with his ire, brilliance, and candor, Kunstler returns to the subject of buildings and chronicles the quiet growth of New Urbanism, a smart and hopeful trend toward improving American life. Donna Seaman Copyright© 1996, American Library Association. All rights reserved