Towards a History of Neoliberal Urbanism in the United States
If inquiries into the dynamics and contours of neoliberalism have proliferated over the past few decades, historians have proved somewhat reluctant to embrace the concept. The project of historicizing the advance of neoliberal logics and rationalities has thus hardly begun. Moreover, many of the scholars who have cast a historical gaze on the subject have tended to cut the story short by viewing the 1970s and 1980s as the pivotal moment of the neoliberal turn. The following chapter offers a corrective to this historical myopia, arguing for the need to view neoliberalization as a process unraveling gradually and unevenly over most of the twentieth century. By offering ground-level snapshots from the urban US between the 1920s and the 1970s, I conclude that urban historians have an important role to play in illuminating at the local level how market values and economizing logics gradually penetrated into political institutions and beyond them into the broader political cultures of US cities.
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