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Other titles in the Creating the North American Landscape series:

The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Creating the North American Landscape)

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The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Creating the North American Landscape) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whether trying to avoid the crawl along the Belt, the horrendous parking situation, or the stress induced by the ludicrous and inadequate street marking, Marylanders, Virginians, and folks from the nation's capital eschew the car and hop the Metro. Here Zachary M. Schrag tells the story of the Great Society Subway, from its foundings through to modern day, from Arlington to College Park, from Eisenhower to Marion Barry.

Book News Annotation:

Schrag (history, George Mason U.) sets the development of the Washington Metro in historical and political context. His examination of the general planning, routing decisions, station architecture, funding decisions, land-use impacts, and behavior of Metro riders, among other topics, does not attempt to deny some of the utilitarian and quantitative economic criticisms that have been leveled against the system, but it does conclude that as "a symbol of urbanity, a preserver of neighborhoods, a work of beauty, a political unifier, a shaper of space, and a meeting ground," Metro helps achieve some of the visions of Peter L'Enfant, the city's original planner, and the liberals of the Great Society era.
Annotation 2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Book News Annotation:

Schrag (history, George Mason U.) sets the development of the Washington Metro in historical and political context. His examination of the general planning, routing decisions, station architecture, funding decisions, land-use impacts, and behavior of Metro riders, among other topics, does not attempt to deny some of the utilitarian and quantitative economic criticisms that have been leveled against the system, but it does conclude that as "a symbol of urbanity, a preserver of neighborhoods, a work of beauty, a political unifier, a shaper of space, and a meeting ground," Metro helps achieve some of the visions of Peter L'Enfant, the city's original planner, and the liberals of the Great Society era. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Drivers in the nation's capital face a host of hazards: high-speed traffic circles, presidential motorcades, jaywalking tourists, and bewildering signs that send unsuspecting motorists from the Lincoln Memorial into suburban Virginia in less than two minutes. And parking? Don't bet on it unless you're in the fast lane of the Capital Beltway during rush hour.

Little wonder, then, that so many residents and visitors rely on the Washington Metro, the 106-mile rapid transit system that serves the District of Columbia and its inner suburbs. In the first comprehensive history of the Metro, Zachary M. Schrag tells the story of the Great Society Subway from its earliest rumblings to the present day, from Arlington to College Park, Eisenhower to Marion Barry.

Unlike the pre--World War II rail systems of New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, the Metro was built at a time when most American families already owned cars, and when most American cities had dedicated themselves to freeways, not subways. Why did the nation's capital take a different path? What were the consequences of that decision?

Using extensive archival research as well as oral history, Schrag argues that the Metro can be understood only in the political context from which it was born: the Great Society liberalism of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. The Metro emerged from a period when Americans believed in public investments suited to the grandeur and dignity of the world's richest nation. The Metro was built not merely to move commuters, but in the words of Lyndon Johnson, to create a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

Schrag scrutinizes the project from its earliest days, including general planning, routes, station architecture, funding decisions, land-use impacts, and the behavior of Metro riders. The story of the Great Society Subway sheds light on the development of metropolitan Washington, postwar urban policy, and the promises and limits of rail transit in American cities.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780801882463
Author:
Schrag, Zachary M.
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Subject:
General
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Subways
Subject:
Local transit
Subject:
Earth Sciences - Geography
Subject:
Public Transportation
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authorit
Subject:
Subways -- Washington Metropolitan Area.
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Creating the North American Landscape
Publication Date:
20060231
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
355
Dimensions:
10.14x7.34x1.19 in. 2.10 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Chemistry » General
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Transportation » Railroads » General

The Great Society Subway: A History of the Washington Metro (Creating the North American Landscape) New Hardcover
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Product details 355 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801882463 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Drivers in the nation's capital face a host of hazards: high-speed traffic circles, presidential motorcades, jaywalking tourists, and bewildering signs that send unsuspecting motorists from the Lincoln Memorial into suburban Virginia in less than two minutes. And parking? Don't bet on it unless you're in the fast lane of the Capital Beltway during rush hour.

Little wonder, then, that so many residents and visitors rely on the Washington Metro, the 106-mile rapid transit system that serves the District of Columbia and its inner suburbs. In the first comprehensive history of the Metro, Zachary M. Schrag tells the story of the Great Society Subway from its earliest rumblings to the present day, from Arlington to College Park, Eisenhower to Marion Barry.

Unlike the pre--World War II rail systems of New York, Chicago, and Philadelphia, the Metro was built at a time when most American families already owned cars, and when most American cities had dedicated themselves to freeways, not subways. Why did the nation's capital take a different path? What were the consequences of that decision?

Using extensive archival research as well as oral history, Schrag argues that the Metro can be understood only in the political context from which it was born: the Great Society liberalism of the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations. The Metro emerged from a period when Americans believed in public investments suited to the grandeur and dignity of the world's richest nation. The Metro was built not merely to move commuters, but in the words of Lyndon Johnson, to create a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

Schrag scrutinizes the project from its earliest days, including general planning, routes, station architecture, funding decisions, land-use impacts, and the behavior of Metro riders. The story of the Great Society Subway sheds light on the development of metropolitan Washington, postwar urban policy, and the promises and limits of rail transit in American cities.

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