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

By Francesca Russello Ammon

The first historical past of the bulldozer and its transformation from army weapon to crucial software for developing the post–World conflict II American landscape

even though the many years following global battle II stand out as an period of quick progress and development within the usa, these years have been both major for large-scale destruction. with a purpose to transparent area for brand new suburban tract housing, an bold approach of interstate highways, and vast city renewal improvement, wrecking businesses demolished structures whereas earthmoving contractors leveled land at an remarkable speed and scale. during this pioneering historical past, Francesca Russello Ammon explores how postwar the United States got here to equate this destruction with progress.

The bulldozer functioned as either the capability and the metaphor for this paintings. because the computing device remodeled from a wartime weapon into an device of postwar making plans, it helped notice a landscape-altering “culture of clearance.” within the fingers of the army, planners, politicians, engineers, building staff, or even children’s e-book authors, the bulldozer grew to become an American icon. but social and environmental injustices emerged as clearance initiatives persevered unabated. This knowledge spurred environmental, preservationist, and citizen participation efforts that experience helped to sluggish, notwithstanding now not totally cease, the momentum of the postwar bulldozer.

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Extra info for Bulldozer: Demolition and Clearance of the Postwar Landscape

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By the end of the era, however, the context was changing. Riots and arson wrought uncontrolled destruction in cities. Suburbs sprawled outside them. Foreign manufacturers like Komatsu began to erode American dominance of the construction equipment trade. Construction laborers aligned themselves with a different, and more contested, kind of war on people and land in Vietnam. Soon, Americans were more commonly battling against—rather than with—the once heralded machine. The movements that these protests spawned helped to slow, though certainly not to stop, the progress of the American bulldozer.

Signal Corps. ) Chapter 1 “A Dirt Moving War” Engineers and Seabees as World War II Heroes In 1944, Colonel K. S. S. ” The essay was an ode to a piece of technology then proving critical to Allied success in World War II. “Of all the weapons of war,” he wrote, “the bulldozer stands first. ’” That same year, a Chicago Tribune writer predicted, “When the axis powers are defeated and the time comes for distributing credit for the allied victory everywhere that it is due, an appreciable share should go to a machine that is constructed fundamentally to take no direct part in the fighting.

Foreign manufacturers like Komatsu began to erode American dominance of the construction equipment trade. Construction laborers aligned themselves with a different, and more contested, kind of war on people and land in Vietnam. Soon, Americans were more commonly battling against—rather than with—the once heralded machine. The movements that these protests spawned helped to slow, though certainly not to stop, the progress of the American bulldozer. Why the Bulldozer? Although the insinuation of the bulldozer into an increasing number of academic texts beginning around the early 1960s might suggest that this scholarly terrain is well covered, the term has served more as a symbol of protest than as a subject of inquiry.

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