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Other titles in the Historical Studies of Urban America series:

Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914-1960 (Historical Studies of Urban America)

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Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914-1960 (Historical Studies of Urban America) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Is there anything more American than the ideal of homeownership? In this groundbreaking work of transnational history, Nancy H. Kwak reveals how the concept of homeownership became one of Americaandrsquo;s major exports and defining characteristics around the world. In the aftermath of World War II, American advisers urged countries to pursue greater access to homeownership, arguing it would give families a literal stake in their nations, jumpstart a productive home-building industry, fuel economic growth, and raise the standard of living in their countries, helping to ward off the specter of communism.

A World of Homeowners charts the emergence of democratic homeownership in the postwar landscape and booming economy; its evolution as a tool of foreign policy and a vehicle for international investment in the 1950s, andrsquo;60s, and andrsquo;70s; and the growth of lower-income homeownership programs in the United States from the 1960s to today. Kwak unravels all these threads, detailing the complex stories and policy struggles that emerged from a particularly American vision for global democracy and capitalism. Ultimately, she argues, the question of who should own homes whereandmdash;and howandmdash;is intertwined with the most difficult questions about economy, government, and society.

Synopsis:

What is more American than the ideal of homeownership? In this ambitious and groundbreaking work of transnational history, Nancy Kwak reveals how the concept of homeownership became one of Americaand#8217;s major exportsand#151;and defining characteristicsand#151;around the world. Kwak charts the emergence of democratic homeownership in the glow of the postwar landscape and booming economy; its evolution as a tool of foreign policy and as a vehicle for international investment during the 1950s, and#8217;60s, and and#8217;70s; and finally, the application of lessons learned to lower-income homeownership programs in the United States from the 1960s to today. Over that period, Americans leaders, institutions, and policy experts urged leaders in China, Taiwan, Burma, South Korea, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and countless other countries to embrace the belief that more accessible, mortgage-driven homeownership could simultaneously strengthen democracy and capitalism. This idea took shape differently in all those countriesand#151;even as it failed to be honored in poorer and nonwhite areas of America itself.

Synopsis:

Each year, North Americans spend as much money fixing up their homes as they do buying new ones. This obsession with improving our dwellings has given rise to a multibillion-dollar industry that includes countless books, consumer magazines, a cable television network, and thousands of home improvement stores.
Building a Market charts the rise of the home improvement industry in the United States and Canada from the end of World War I into the late 1950s. Drawing on the insights of business, social, and urban historians, and making use of a wide range of documentary sources, Richard Harris shows how the middle-class preference for home ownership first emerged in the 1920sandmdash;and how manufacturers, retailers, and the federal government combined to establish the massive home improvement market and a pervasive culture of Do-It-Yourself.and#160;
Deeply insightful, Building a Market is the carefully crafted history of the emergence and evolution of a home improvement revolution that changed not just American culture but the American landscape as well.

About the Author

Richard Harris is professor of geography at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations

Preface

ONE / Introduction

PART I:and#160; ORIGINS

TWO / The Foundation of Home Ownership

THREE / An Industry Unready to Improve

FOUR / The Realm of the Retailer

FIVE / The Birth of the Home Improvement Store

PART II:and#160; CRISIS, 1927and#8211;1945

SIX / A Perfect Storm for the Building Industry

SEVEN / Manufacturers Save the Retailer

EIGHT / The State Makes Credit

PART III:and#160; RESOLUTION, 1945and#8211;1960

NINE / Mr. and Mrs. Builder

TEN / Help for the Amateur

ELEVEN / The Improvement Business Coalesces

TWELVE / A Zelig of the American Cultural Economy

Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226317663
Author:
Harris, Richard
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Author:
Kwak, Nancy H.
Subject:
United States - 20th Century
Subject:
US History - 20th Century
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Series:
Historical Studies of Urban America
Publication Date:
20120831
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
30 halftones
Pages:
312
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

Business » General
Business » History and Biographies
Business » Management
Business » Writing
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment

Building a Market: The Rise of the Home Improvement Industry, 1914-1960 (Historical Studies of Urban America) New Hardcover
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Product details 312 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226317663 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
What is more American than the ideal of homeownership? In this ambitious and groundbreaking work of transnational history, Nancy Kwak reveals how the concept of homeownership became one of Americaand#8217;s major exportsand#151;and defining characteristicsand#151;around the world. Kwak charts the emergence of democratic homeownership in the glow of the postwar landscape and booming economy; its evolution as a tool of foreign policy and as a vehicle for international investment during the 1950s, and#8217;60s, and and#8217;70s; and finally, the application of lessons learned to lower-income homeownership programs in the United States from the 1960s to today. Over that period, Americans leaders, institutions, and policy experts urged leaders in China, Taiwan, Burma, South Korea, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, and countless other countries to embrace the belief that more accessible, mortgage-driven homeownership could simultaneously strengthen democracy and capitalism. This idea took shape differently in all those countriesand#151;even as it failed to be honored in poorer and nonwhite areas of America itself.
"Synopsis" by ,
Each year, North Americans spend as much money fixing up their homes as they do buying new ones. This obsession with improving our dwellings has given rise to a multibillion-dollar industry that includes countless books, consumer magazines, a cable television network, and thousands of home improvement stores.
Building a Market charts the rise of the home improvement industry in the United States and Canada from the end of World War I into the late 1950s. Drawing on the insights of business, social, and urban historians, and making use of a wide range of documentary sources, Richard Harris shows how the middle-class preference for home ownership first emerged in the 1920sandmdash;and how manufacturers, retailers, and the federal government combined to establish the massive home improvement market and a pervasive culture of Do-It-Yourself.and#160;
Deeply insightful, Building a Market is the carefully crafted history of the emergence and evolution of a home improvement revolution that changed not just American culture but the American landscape as well.
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