Don't Blame Us: Suburban Liberals and the Transformation of by Lily Geismer

By Lily Geismer

Don’t Blame Us lines the reorientation of contemporary liberalism and the Democratic occasion clear of their roots in hard work union halls of northern towns to white-collar pros in postindustrial high-tech suburbs, and casts new gentle at the value of suburban liberalism in glossy American political tradition. targeting the suburbs alongside the high-tech hall of direction 128 round Boston, Lily Geismer demanding situations traditional scholarly exams of Massachusetts exceptionalism, the decline of liberalism, and suburban politics within the wake of the increase of the hot correct and the Reagan Revolution within the Nineteen Seventies and Nineteen Eighties. even if just a small component to the inhabitants, wisdom execs in Massachusetts and somewhere else have come to wield great political leverage and tool. by way of probing the chances and boundaries of those suburban liberals, this wealthy and nuanced account exhibits that—far from being an exception to nationwide trends—the suburbs of Massachusetts supply a version for realizing nationwide political realignment and suburban politics within the moment half the 20th century.

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In a way that makes you different,” one Route 128 engineer declared. ”92 The emphasis on the importance of education and merit carried over to life outside work as well. True Believers The influx of “new PhDs” and their families infused the Route 128 suburbs with an achievement-­focused sensibility, and made education a core component of their culture and exclusivity. The promise of high-­quality public education often informed both the home-­purchasing decisions and political ideology of the professionals who moved to these communities in the decades after World War II.

73 Her comment captures how many newcomers felt a sense of distinctive identity even from the town in which they lived. People like Sterling would always remain one small faction of “radical” local residents who resided side by side with more conventional community members. 75 Gropius’s design inspired other well-­known architects affiliated with Harvard to seek out plots in Lincoln and neighboring towns as “laboratories” to similarly explore the relationship between modernist principles and the natural environment.

81 Koch’s design for a hundred chalet-­style homes on the two-­ hundred-­acre plot coupled the latest technological advancements and expertise drawn from the MIT labs with an appreciation for local history and the environment, including a large amount of open and shared space in order for residents to feel in harmony with both nature and their neighbors. 84 These ties made Conantum residents not “radical” but actually consistent with the profile of the new residents in the Route 128 suburbs, further solidifying the connections of the towns to both area universities and the science and electronics industry.

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