Carol Milford is an exuberant, liberal-hearted woman who marries a man from a small town. After they marry they settle in his home-town, Gopher Prairie, which Carol finds narrow and ugly. She throws herself into reforming the town, but is met only with derision by her own class. She decides to leave, but finds that the world outside is just as flawed as Gopher Prairie. She remains uncowed, however, declaring "I do not admit that dish-washing is enough to satisfy all women!"
"This is America-a town of a few thousand, in a region of wheat and corn and dairies and little groves." So Sinclair Lewis-recipient of the Nobel Prize and rejecter of the Pulitzer-prefaces his novel Main Street. Lewis is brutal in his depictions of the self-satisfied inhabitants of small-town America, a place which proves to be merely an assemblage of pretty surfaces, strung together and ultimately empty.
The Buildings of Main Street is the primary resource for interpreting commercial architectural style. Richard Longstreth, a renowned and respected author in the field of historic preservation, presents a useful survey of commercial architecture in urban America. He has developed a typology of architectural classification for commercial application in American towns across the United States. Likely to be enjoyed by both students and members of the general public seeking an introduction to commercial architecture, The Buildings of Main Streetmakes a significant and lasting contribution to American architectural history.
An important part of the New Deal, the Modernization Credit Plan helped transform urban business districts and small-town commercial strips across 1930s America, but it has since been almost completely forgotten. In Modernizing Main Street, Gabrielle Esperdy uncovers the cultural history of the hundreds of thousands of modernized storefronts that resulted from the little-known federal provision that made billions of dollars available to shop owners who wanted to update their facades. Esperdy argues that these updated storefronts served a range of complex purposes, such as stimulating public consumption, extending the New Deal’s influence, reviving a stagnant construction industry, and intr...
An updated version of the author's discovery of the real person behind the mythology Bob Dylan created includes an interview with the author, previously unpublished photographs, and a new preface by the author. Original.
The community that establishes and maintains a solid economic framework greatly improves its chances of sustaining itself through fluctuations in the economy. The question is, of course, how can city officials and administrators make this happen? The Formula for Economic Growth on Main Street America examines why economic growth during the late twentieth century was marked by the dramatic rise of some communities and the equally stunning demise of others. This book identifies the key components of sustained economic growth as well as the policies, actions, and inactions that are precursors to the decline of local economies. Based on the author’s 25 years of experience as president of one o...
The first of Sinclair Lewis’s great successes, Main Street shattered the sentimental American myth of happy small-town life with its satire of narrow-minded provincialism. Reflecting his own unhappy childhood in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, Lewis’s sixth novel attacked the conformity and dullness he saw in midwestern village life. Young college graduate Carol Milford moves from the city to tiny Gopher Prairie after marrying the local doctor, and tries to bring culture to the small town. But her efforts to reform the prairie village are met by a wall of gossip, greed, conventionality, pitifully unambitious cultural endeavors, and—worst of all—the pettiness and bigotry of small-town minds. Lewis’s portrayal of a marriage torn by disillusionment and a woman forced into compromises is at once devastating social satire and persuasive realism. His subtle characterizations and intimate details of small-town America make Main Street a complex and compelling work and established Lewis as an important figure in twentieth-century American literature.
As an archetype for an entire class of places, Main Street has become one of America's most popular and idealized images. In Main Street Revisited, the first book to place the design of small downtowns in spatial and chronological context, Richard Francaviglia finds the sources of romanticized images of this archetype, including Walt Disney's Main Street USA, in towns as diverse as Marceline, Missouri, and Fort Collins, Colorado. Francaviglia interprets Main Street both as a real place and as an expression of collective assumptions, designs, and myths; his Main Streets are treasure troves of historic patterns. Using many historical and contemporary photographs and maps for his extensive fieldwork and research, he reveals a rich regional pattern of small-town development that serves as the basis for American community design. He underscores the significance of time in the development of Main Street's distinctive personality, focuses on the importance of space in the creation of place, and concentrates on popular images that have enshrined Main Street in the collective American consciousness.
The roots of many cherished American traditions may be found on the main streets of New Hampshire towns. Often the heart of a town's social, political, and economic life, main streets offer a sense of identity, dignity, and serenity. Through images, Main Street New Hampshire reflects the romance and nostalgia of the past and showcases the sights and memorials of several important New Hampshire places, including Concord, Keene, Nashua, Rochester, Laconia, Exeter, Newmarket, and others. These images, many dating from as early as 1860, reflect the activity, architecture, transportation, and recreation at the heart of each community.