Download Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape by Francesca Russello Ammon PDF

By Francesca Russello Ammon

Although the a long time following global warfare II stand out as an period of quick development and building within the usa, these years have been both major for large-scale destruction. so as to transparent house for brand new suburban tract housing, an bold approach of interstate highways, and large city renewal improvement, wrecking businesses demolished structures whereas earthmoving contractors leveled land at an unheard of speed and scale. during this pioneering background, Francesca Russello Ammon explores how postwar the USA got here to equate this destruction with progress.

The bulldozer functioned as either the potential and the metaphor for this paintings. because the computing device remodeled from a wartime weapon into an software of postwar making plans, it helped discover a landscape-altering “culture of clearance.” within the arms of the army, planners, politicians, engineers, development employees, or even children’s ebook authors, the bulldozer grew to become an American icon. but social and environmental injustices emerged as clearance initiatives endured unabated. This know-how spurred environmental, preservationist, and citizen participation efforts that experience helped to sluggish, notwithstanding now not solely cease, the momentum of the postwar bulldozer.

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The largely overlooked environmental scars left by the war, coupled with relatively positive representations of urban ruins, made large-scale demolition seem both possible and palatable. 3 “We Build! S. military has long incorporated engineering and construction into its mandate. The army deployed engineers during the Revolutionary War and formally established the Corps of Engineers in 1802. Later that century, the corps added civil projects to its responsibilities, constructing coastal fortifications and mapping the American West.

Minorities received few of the ensuing construction jobs, and when they did get them, these jobs were typically the lowest-paying, nonunionized, manual-labor positions. White men operating construction equipment did double violence as they destroyed the postwar neighborhoods of so many poor—and often black—residents. As African American workers rose up against this discrimination during the 1960s and 1970s, both in opposition to the bulldozer and in support of affirmative action employment, they brought the Civil Rights movement and Black Power to the construction site.

4 The navy prepared for World War II by building up its coastal and Pacific bases. American companies, including Turner Construction and Morrison-Knudsen, relocated their workers and hired local laborers to execute this work. Once the United States entered the war, these private contractors proved inappropriate for the expanded task. Navy leaders worried that civilian crews lacked the tight coordination, fast tempo, and strict discipline necessary to function productively under fire. In the event of an attack, they would be physically unprepared to fight back and legally prohibited from doing so.

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