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The Working Man’s Reward
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The Working Man’s Reward: Chicago's Early Suburbs and the Roots of American Sprawl

Elaine Lewinnek

Abstract

Between the 1860s and 1920s Chicago’s working-class immigrants designed the American dream of homeownership. They imagined homes that were simultaneously a consumer-oriented respite from work and also productive spaces for increasing property values and housing small businesses such as market gardens, laundries, or boardinghouses. Leapfrogging out of town along with assembly-line factories, Chicago’s diverse early suburbs were marketed with the elusive promise that homeownership might offer a bulwark against the vicissitudes of industrial capitalism, that homes might be “better than a bank for ... More

Keywords: suburbs, homeownership, new suburban history, Chicago, sprawl, working class, property values, mortgages of whiteness

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2014 Print ISBN-13: 9780199769223
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199769223.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elaine Lewinnek, author
California State University, Fullerton