Real Places: An Unconventional Guide to America's Generic Landscape

Grady Clay, Author University of Chicago Press $35 (322p) ISBN 978-0-226-10946-6
Clay's premise in this entertaining guidebook is that generic place-names like edge of town, good address, commuting suburb and inner city obscure the singular features of specific locales. In the same witty manner of his Close-Up: How to Read the American City, he proceeds from abandoned farm to whale-watching site, with stopovers at flea markets, lovers' leaps, hazardous waste dumps, the Pacific Rim, boondocks and other places, discussing each term's roots, historic associations and the preconceptions embedded in it. Based on his coast-to-coast travels of the last 10 years, and illustrated with scores of photographs and maps, this eye-opening handbook of America's cultural geography will foster new ways of thinking about the human-made environment. Urban affairs editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal, Clay here unravels the geopolitical tensions among cities, suburbs and rural areas, with attention to the clash between developers and sustainers. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/14/1994
Release date: 11/01/1994
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 322 pages - 978-0-226-10949-7
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