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Pastoral cities : urban ideals and the symbolic landscape of America

Author: James L Machor
Publisher: Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.
Series: History of American thought and culture.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"What has the city meant to Americans? James L. Machor explores this question in a provocative analysis of American responses to urbanization in the context of the culture's tendency to valorize nature and the rural world. Although much attention has been paid to American rural-urban relations, Machor focuses on a dimension largely overlooked by those seeking to explain American conceptions of the city. While urban  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Machor, James L.
Pastoral cities.
Madison, Wis. : University of Wisconsin Press, 1987
(OCoLC)568076330
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: James L Machor
ISBN: 0299112802 9780299112806 0299112845 9780299112844
OCLC Number: 15198243
Description: xvi, 272 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: Geography and the New Jerusalem --
The pastoral city of man and God: American and the European imagination --
New England's Jerusalem: millennialism and the Puritan Urbe in Rus --
The garden and the secular city --
Civilization and the order of nature: the eighteenth-century ideal --
Landscape as cityscape: urbanization and the western garden --
Organic cities: nineteenth-century urban reform --
Urban pastoralism and literary dissent: from the "Brooklyn ferry" to The American scene --
Epilogue: nature and the omnipresent city.
Series Title: History of American thought and culture.
Responsibility: James L. Machor.

Abstract:

"What has the city meant to Americans? James L. Machor explores this question in a provocative analysis of American responses to urbanization in the context of the culture's tendency to valorize nature and the rural world. Although much attention has been paid to American rural-urban relations, Machor focuses on a dimension largely overlooked by those seeking to explain American conceptions of the city. While urban historians and literary critics have explicitly or implicitly emphasized the opposition between urban and rural sensibilities in America, an equally important feature of American thought and writing has been the widespread interest in collapsing that division. Convinced that the native landscape has offered special opportunities, Americans since the age of settlement have sought to build a harmonious urban-pastoral society combining the best of both worlds. Moreover, this goal has gone largely unchallenged in the culture except for the sophisticated responses in the writings of some of America's most eminent literary artists. Pastoral Cities explains the development of urban pastoralism from its origins in the prophetic vision of the New Jerusalem, applied to America in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through its secularization in the urban planning and reform of the 1800s. Machor critiques the sophisticated treatment of urban pastoralism by writers such as Emerson, Whitman, Hawthorne, Wharton, and James by skillfully by combining cultural analysis with a close reading of urban plans, travel narratives, sermons, and popular novels. The product of this multifaceted approach is an analysis that works to reveal both the strengths and weaknesses of the pastoral ideal as cultural mythology."--Back cover.

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"[Machor] traces the ideal of urban pastoralism back to the Old Testament prophets, More's "Utopia", Cortes's description of the Aztecs, the Puritans, and various 18th-century Americans and Read more...

 
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