Bulldozer Revolutions

A Rural History of the Metropolitan South

Andrew C. Baker

Foreword by James C. Giesen

Title Details

Pages: 254

Illustrations: 17 b&w images

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in



Pub Date: 11/15/2018

ISBN: 9-780-8203-5414-9

List Price: $59.95


Pub Date: 09/01/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6364-6

List Price: $34.95

Bulldozer Revolutions

A Rural History of the Metropolitan South

Andrew C. Baker

Foreword by James C. Giesen

How rural places reshaped urban sprawl

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  • Description
  • Reviews

By examining the metropolitan fringes of Houston in Montgomery County, Texas, and Washington, D.C., in Loudoun County, Virginia, this book combines rural, environmental, and agricultural history to disrupt our view of the southern metropolis.

Andrew C. Baker examines the local boosters, gentlemen farmers, historical preservationists, and nature-seeking suburbanites who abandoned the city to live in the metropolitan countryside during the twentieth century. These property owners formed the vanguard of the antigrowth movement that has defined metropolitan fringe politics across the nation. In the rural South, subdivisions, reservoirs, homesteads, and historical villages each obscured the troubling legacies of racism and rural poverty and celebrated a refashioned landscape. That landscape’s historical and environmental “authenticity” served as a foil to the alienation and ugliness of suburbia. Using a source base that includes the records of preservation organizations and local, state, and federal government agencies, as well as oral histories, Baker explores the distinct roots of the environmental politics and the shifting relationship between city and country within these metropolitan fringe regions.

Baker’s inclusion of Montgomery County will surely excite readers of this journal. He shines a light on Texas suburban development, lifting Texas out of a long tradition of parochial historiography and placing it squarely within broader regional and national narratives. As a suburban historian living and working in East Texas myself, I am champing at the bit to assign this book in my classes.

—Paul J. P. Sandul, Southwestern Historic Quarterly

Bulldozer Revolutions deserves an audience far broader than just regional historians. With its fluid organization, lucid and often poetic prose, and impressive depth of research, Baker’s book is a powerful testament to the fruitful union of agricultural, environmental, urban, and rural history. Scholars of the U.S. countryside, cities, suburbs, and the relationship between the three will learn much from this valuable book.

—Agricultural History

About the Author/Editor

ANDREW C. BAKER is an associate professor of history at Texas A&M University-Commerce.