Light demonstrates how careful attention to the connection between cold war planning and urban planning forces us to rethink the recent history of the American city. This is really a study of how defense intellectuals managed to convince a couple generations of planners and politicians that they had something valuable to learn from RAND, JPL, and NASA. -- Stuart W. Leslie, The Johns Hopkins University This is an outstanding presentation and analysis that should attract significant attention especially recognizing current issues in this area. Jennifer Light has produced an outstanding discussion and evaluation of the capabilities, efforts, tools, and contributions of technologists, scientists, managers, planners, analysts from the military, aerospace, and other federal government agencies. -- Harold Finger, former NASA Associate Administrator for Organization and Management and former HUD Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology
AcknowledgmentsIntroduction1. Planning for the Atomic Age: Creating a Community of ExpertsPart I: Command, Control, and Community2. The City as a Communication System3. Cybernetics and Urban RenewalPart II: Cities in the Space Age4. Urban Intelligence Gathering5. Moon-Shot Management for American CitiesPart III: The Urban Crisis as National Security Crisis6. Cable as a Cold War Technology7. Wired CitiesConclusionNotesNote on SourcesIndex
Jennifer S. Light is an associate professor of communication studies, history, and sociology at Northwestern University.
An exceptionally useful contribution to the history of American cities, a book that takes seriously and does much to document the historical relationship between militarism and urban geography. -- Matthew Farish Professional Geographer As historians of American cities stumble across missile experts straying far from their silos, they will find guidance in this careful account of a peculiar moment in urban policy. -- Zachary M. Schrag Technology and Culture A very interesting book about the way in which American institutions get bamboozled into adopting popular fads and trends that ought to be scrutinized more carefully. -- Roger W. Lotchin Journal of Military History Light stands some of the conventional Cold War wisdom on its head... This study not only closes the loop between business management and the military back to the civilian sector, but also reminds readers of the continuing nature of unintended consequences that flow from expert technological obsessions when allied to policy making. Choice If the volume tells us something new and important about the history of planning, it is at the same time a cautionary tale, one that might well offer lessons to those today who are proposing many related technologies-geographic information systems, remote surveillance systems and the like-as a means for solving urban and military problems. -- Michael R. Curry New Media and Society A compelling historical narrative that exposes a little-known linkage between defense and civilian affairs: the urban-planning applications of technologies and management styles that were developed originally for national defense. Journal of Planning Education and Research In this superbly written intellectual history, Jennifer Light describes the impact on urban planning of the cybernetic revolution, which advanced a general theory of biological and machine communications after World War II. Peace and Change Light has made an important contribution by showing how defense intellectuals contributed to the creation and promotion of cybercities. -- Nils Gilman Journal of Cold War Studies This well-written study introduces a new and important cast of urban decision-makers to the story of post-war urban America. -- Margaret Pugh O'Mara Urban History A strong and useful contribution to American Cold War history, and perhaps even more to an understanding of the nature of American power after the Cold War. -- Campbell Craig American Historical Review