Lone Star Suburbs
Life on the Texas Metropolitan Frontier
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
266 Pages | 6 x 9 | 9 tables
How is it that nearly 90 percent of the Texan population currently lives in metropolitan regions, but many Texans still embrace and promote a vision of their state’s nineteenth-century rural identity? This is one of the questions the editors and contributors to Lone Star Suburbs confront. One answer, they contend, may be the long shadow cast by a Texas myth that has served the dominant culture while marginalizing those on the fringes. Another may be the criticism suburbia has endured for undermining the very romantic individuality that the Texas myth celebrates.
From the 1950s to the present, cultural critics have derided suburbs as landscapes of sameness and conformity. Only recently have historians begun to document the multidimensional industrial and ethnic aspects of suburban life as well as the development of multifamily housing, services, and leisure facilities. In Lone Star Suburbs, urban historian Paul J. P. Sandul, Texas historian M. Scott Sosebee, and ten contributors move the discussion of suburbia well beyond the stereotype of endless blocks of white middle-class neighborhoods and fill a gap in our knowledge of the Lone Star State.
This collection supports the claim that Texas is not only primarily suburban but also the most representative example of this urban form in the United States. Essays consider transportation infrastructure, urban planning, and professional sports as they relate to the suburban ideal; the experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos in Texas metropolitan areas; and the environmental consequences of suburbanization in the state.
Texas is no longer the bastion of rural life in the United States but now—for better or worse—represents the leading edge of suburban living. This important book offers a first step in coming to grips with that reality.
“In a timely book about the planning and politics of suburbs, editors Paul J. P. Sandul and Scott Sosebee provide a history about the spatial transformation of Texas… Lone Star Suburbs is a solid, well-researched narrative of Texas sprawl. Each author takes a case study around all the major metropolitan regions in the state to help readers understand the development of the Texas landscape. The book is a quick read, and it provides a myriad of information—from statistics to anecdotes.—Western Historical Quarterly