Book News Usonia was Wright's vision for America, a utopian ideal made possible in part by the creative design of small, low-cost homes that could be replicated across the country. Rosenbaum, a writer, designer, and regional planner, grew up in one of Wright's Usonian houses. That house is a point of departure for a narrative interweaving the contributions of Wright, Henry Ford, and Franklin D. Roosevelt in discussion of regional planning between 1920 and 1950. 9x9" Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or.
Blackwell North Amer Usonia: Frank Lloyd Wright's Design for America is Alvin Rosenbaum's personal account of regional planning between 1920 and 1950 and how Frank Lloyd Wright's work during that period has contributed to the way we live now. The fascinating parallel stories of three men who helped shape the era - Wright, Henry Ford, and Franklin D. Roosevelt - are interwoven with details about other lives and historic events to demonstrate how Wright's ideas have given shape to modern America. The author's boyhood home in Alabama, one of Wright's Usonian houses, is the point of departure for the narrative, which interweaves intriguing details of Ford's interest in setting up a planned community and, later, of the development of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the single most important regional development in the United States. Just as the Roosevelt administration was putting together its plans for TVA, Wright was imagining an American utopia - Broadacre City - where every family would be guaranteed a lush green acre of land. Included are stories of Wright's first efforts to design an affordable house, his vision to create a whole new American civilization with Broadacre City, and the experiences of Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum as they worked with Wright to build their own Usonian residence in 1940, which remains the last of Wright's pre-war houses still occupied by its original owner. The house becomes the symbol for the author's personal insights because of its location in the area in which Ford had once anticipated establishing a planned community and which eventually became the birthplace of the New Deal with the creation of TVA. How Wright's concepts for a better way of American living failed and succeeded, and how Usonia was realized in expected and unexpected ways, are part of this fascinating story.