Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Subscribe now for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government. By Evan McKenzie. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994. xvi, 237 pp. Cloth, $32.50, ISBN 0-30005876-4. Paper, $14.00, ISBN 0-300-06638-4.)

Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government. By Evan... The Journal of American History 1506 March 1997 road to Love Canal alongside other trails and of the 1940s, many subdivisions failed to sell, highwaysand within a richer interpretive frame­ which raises the question of why the cms are work will we put together a picture of Ameri­ succeeding today. What is their appeal? Is there a connection between the rise of private gov­ can technocracy that is more thoroughly his­ torical than either earlier caricatures or today's ernments and the rightward swing in Ameri­ courtroom allow-one that rings truer for our can politics that culminated in the Gingrich own time. revolution of 1994? The book disappoints in its lack of empha­ Christopher Sellers sis on the historical context. For example, Rutgers University McKenzie traces shared ownership to its me­ Newark, New Jersey dieval origins in the congested walled cities of Europe and notes that CIDs have proliferated Prioatopia: Homeowner Associations and the since the 1970s, but he does not compare the Rise o/ResidentialPriuate Government. ByEvan social needs of the new "gated communities" McKenzie. (New Haven: YaleUniversity Press, with those of medieval fortress cities. Yet for 1994. xvi, 237 pp. Cloth, $32.50, ISBN 0-300­ many Americans the 1970s were years of social 05876-4. Paper, $14.00, ISBN 0-300-06638-4.) disruption, and more recently there has been a rising sense of fear and dislocation, which Evan McKenzie's book Privasopia examines the may explain the willingness of ern residents common interest development (ern) in Amer­ to trade freedom for the security provided by ica. These residential developments, separated the "privatopia." from the larger community by wallsof econom­ Several case studies of the em experience ics, politics, and stone, include shared owner­ might have been helpful in determining if any ship of land and amenities along with mem­ homeowners' associations have revised their or­ bership in the homeowners' associations that ganizational structures in the direction of free­ govern them. In his "consideration of the social dom and individual rights, and, if so, if there and political consequences being wrought in are patterns to the changes. Despite these omis­ urban America by the spread of cm housing," sions, Pnoatopia remains a well-organized, well­ McKenzie points to the power of these asso­ written, and extremely informative tool for sev­ ciations not only over their members but in­ eral constituencies, from urban planners to em directly over the residents of the surrounding residents. community, and he issues warnings about their Through a series of topical chapters, each threat to both city and suburb. of which could stand alone for teaching pur­ The study examines the problems associated poses, McKenzie weaves a larger history of the with the rise and legal status of what McKenzie em, which could also serve in social history calls "government by contract" and the social or political science courses. In addition, this impact of the emphasis on privacy and exclu­ comprehensive account of an emerging ele­ sion in American suburbs. He identifies ele­ ment in urban studies could serve as a valuable ments of fascism in the em organizational primer for those who governsuch developments. structure, but he also refers to the private gov­ Barbara M. Kelly ernments as "socialism by contract." Citing Hofstra University legal cases in which CIDs have been upheld in Hempstead, New rork imposing conformity on the residents, even in violation of the Constitution, McKenzie points to the danger that self-funding emswill with­ draw economic support from the surrounding The Culture ofRecouery: Making Sense 0/the municipalities. Self Help Movement in Women's Lives. By Unfortunately the study glossesover the role Elayne Rapping. (Boston: Beacon, 1996. xiv, 214 pp. $24.00, ISBN 0-8070-2716-2.) of the residents, presenting them as victims of the developers, investors, and homeowners' associations who make and carry out the de­ This book details the story of the "merger" of cisions. Yet, even in the postwar sellers' market second-wave feminism with Alcoholics Anon- http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of American History Oxford University Press

Privatopia: Homeowner Associations and the Rise of Residential Private Government. By Evan McKenzie. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994. xvi, 237 pp. Cloth, $32.50, ISBN 0-30005876-4. Paper, $14.00, ISBN 0-300-06638-4.)

The Journal of American History , Volume 83 (4) – Mar 1, 1997

Loading next page...
 
/lp/oxford-university-press/privatopia-homeowner-associations-and-the-rise-of-residential-private-YIlObwO5xQ

References (0)

References for this paper are not available at this time. We will be adding them shortly, thank you for your patience.

Publisher
Oxford University Press
Copyright
© Published by Oxford University Press.
ISSN
0021-8723
eISSN
1945-2314
DOI
10.2307/2953069
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Journal of American History 1506 March 1997 road to Love Canal alongside other trails and of the 1940s, many subdivisions failed to sell, highwaysand within a richer interpretive frame­ which raises the question of why the cms are work will we put together a picture of Ameri­ succeeding today. What is their appeal? Is there a connection between the rise of private gov­ can technocracy that is more thoroughly his­ torical than either earlier caricatures or today's ernments and the rightward swing in Ameri­ courtroom allow-one that rings truer for our can politics that culminated in the Gingrich own time. revolution of 1994? The book disappoints in its lack of empha­ Christopher Sellers sis on the historical context. For example, Rutgers University McKenzie traces shared ownership to its me­ Newark, New Jersey dieval origins in the congested walled cities of Europe and notes that CIDs have proliferated Prioatopia: Homeowner Associations and the since the 1970s, but he does not compare the Rise o/ResidentialPriuate Government. ByEvan social needs of the new "gated communities" McKenzie. (New Haven: YaleUniversity Press, with those of medieval fortress cities. Yet for 1994. xvi, 237 pp. Cloth, $32.50, ISBN 0-300­ many Americans the 1970s were years of social 05876-4. Paper, $14.00, ISBN 0-300-06638-4.) disruption, and more recently there has been a rising sense of fear and dislocation, which Evan McKenzie's book Privasopia examines the may explain the willingness of ern residents common interest development (ern) in Amer­ to trade freedom for the security provided by ica. These residential developments, separated the "privatopia." from the larger community by wallsof econom­ Several case studies of the em experience ics, politics, and stone, include shared owner­ might have been helpful in determining if any ship of land and amenities along with mem­ homeowners' associations have revised their or­ bership in the homeowners' associations that ganizational structures in the direction of free­ govern them. In his "consideration of the social dom and individual rights, and, if so, if there and political consequences being wrought in are patterns to the changes. Despite these omis­ urban America by the spread of cm housing," sions, Pnoatopia remains a well-organized, well­ McKenzie points to the power of these asso­ written, and extremely informative tool for sev­ ciations not only over their members but in­ eral constituencies, from urban planners to em directly over the residents of the surrounding residents. community, and he issues warnings about their Through a series of topical chapters, each threat to both city and suburb. of which could stand alone for teaching pur­ The study examines the problems associated poses, McKenzie weaves a larger history of the with the rise and legal status of what McKenzie em, which could also serve in social history calls "government by contract" and the social or political science courses. In addition, this impact of the emphasis on privacy and exclu­ comprehensive account of an emerging ele­ sion in American suburbs. He identifies ele­ ment in urban studies could serve as a valuable ments of fascism in the em organizational primer for those who governsuch developments. structure, but he also refers to the private gov­ Barbara M. Kelly ernments as "socialism by contract." Citing Hofstra University legal cases in which CIDs have been upheld in Hempstead, New rork imposing conformity on the residents, even in violation of the Constitution, McKenzie points to the danger that self-funding emswill with­ draw economic support from the surrounding The Culture ofRecouery: Making Sense 0/the municipalities. Self Help Movement in Women's Lives. By Unfortunately the study glossesover the role Elayne Rapping. (Boston: Beacon, 1996. xiv, 214 pp. $24.00, ISBN 0-8070-2716-2.) of the residents, presenting them as victims of the developers, investors, and homeowners' associations who make and carry out the de­ This book details the story of the "merger" of cisions. Yet, even in the postwar sellers' market second-wave feminism with Alcoholics Anon-

Journal

The Journal of American HistoryOxford University Press

Published: Mar 1, 1997

There are no references for this article.