By Francesca Russello Ammon
The bulldozer functioned as either the skill and the metaphor for this paintings. because the computer reworked from a wartime weapon into an software of postwar making plans, it helped become aware of a landscape-altering “culture of clearance.” within the fingers of the army, planners, politicians, engineers, building staff, or even children’s booklet authors, the bulldozer turned an American icon. but social and environmental injustices emerged as clearance initiatives persisted unabated. This information 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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Extra resources for Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape
I have appreciated her encouragement, advice, and example, and I thank her immensely for the countless investments she has made in me throughout this process. Jean-Christophe Agnew shared his enthusiasm for cultural history and inspired me with his expansive ability to see connections across space and time. Seth Fein, Matthew Jacobson, and Laura Wexler also read drafts of parts of this project and shared feedback that has greatly improved the shape of the book. A fellowship from the Miller Center for Public Affairs introduced me to Edmund Russell, who offered valuable suggestions on early chapters as well.
How else to account for a bulldozer as the central figure in this tale? Or for the raw enthusiasm that protagonist Bill Crane voices for the machine? When Ducky tells Bill of the many Caterpillar D7 and D8 bulldozers on which he worked while in the Engineers, his friend responds with envy. “Maybe I’d better try a hitch in the Army myself,” he replies. ” But Bill does not have to join the military to fulfill his dream. The domestic American landscape affords him plenty of comparable opportunities.
I combine urban and environmental history with the histories of technology and business, marrying the traditional archival methods of social and political history with critical readings of visual and material sources. For my research I mined diverse archives, including naval cruise books, Army Corps of Engineers histories, trade journals, business records, municipal documents, census data, oral histories, magazines, newspapers, children’s books, popular films, art installations, and the built environment itself.