Quotation by Daniel J. Boorstin

In the small town each citizen had done something in his own way to build the community. The town booster had a vision of the future which he tried to fulfill. The suburb dweller by contrast started with the future—with a shopping center for twice the population, with a school building already built, with churches constructed, with parks and playgrounds and swimming pools. These were as essential to building a suburb as the prematurely grand hotel had been to building a city in the wilderness. In large developments where the developer had a plan, and even in the smaller developments, there was a new kind of paternalism: not the quasi-feudal paternalism of the company town, nor the paternalism of the utopian ideologue. This new kind of paternalism was fostered by the American talent for organization, by the rising twentieth century American standard of living, and by the American genius for mass production. It was the paternalism of the market place. The suburban developer, unlike the small-town booster, seldom intended to live in the community he was building. For him community was a commodity, a product to be sold at a profit.
Daniel J. Boorstin (b. 1914), U.S. historian. The Americans: The Democratic Experience, ch. 33, Random House (1973).
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