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Geography Of Nowhere

Geography Of Nowhere

The Rise And Declineof America'S Man-Made Landscape

The Geography of Nowhere traces America's evolution from a nation of Main Streets and coherent communities to a land where every place is like no place in particular, where the cities are dead zones and the countryside is a wasteland of cartoon architecture and parking lots.
In elegant and often hilarious prose, Kunstler depicts our nation's evolution from the Pilgrim settlements to the modern auto suburb in all its ghastliness. The Geography of Nowhere tallies up the huge economic, social, and spiritual costs that America is paying for its car-crazed lifestyle. It is also a wake-up call for citizens to reinvent the places where we live and work, to build communities that are once again worthy of our affection. Kunstler proposes that by reviving civic art and civic life, we will rediscover public virtue and a new vision of the common good. "The future will require us to build better places," Kunstler says, "or the future will belong to other people in other societies."
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  • Free Press | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780671888251 | 
  • July 1994
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

SCARY PLACES

There is a marvelous moment in the hit movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? that sums up our present national predicament very nicely. The story is set in Los Angeles in 1947. The scene is a dreary warehouse, headquarters of the villain, Judge Doom, a cartoon character masquerading as a human being. The hallucinatory plot hinges on Judge Doom's evil scheme to sell off the city's streetcar system and to create just such a futuristic car-crazed society as Americans actually live and work in today.

"It's a construction plan of epic proportions," he intones. "They're calling it [portentous pause] a... see more

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