California’s Immaculate Conception

At roughly the same time that the Founding Fathers were ringing the bells of revolution on the East Coast, California was nearly empty. It had no cities and only a modest fur-trading economy. It was a land crying out for a story — an empty soundstage, if you will. The role into which Serra grew, according to Steven W. Hackel in Junípero Serra: California’s Founding Father, was that of “a pioneer, a religious icon, and as a colonial imperialist.”

The Original Big Digs

The gridlock in American cities today doesn’t compare to the crush on streets in Boston and New York City in the mid- to late-1800s. In The Race Underground, Doug Most chronicles the occasionally synchronous development of the nation’s first subways.

History of Future Cities

Brook contends that the four cities were not built to celebrate their respective cultures or to build indigenous economies but rather to establish beachheads of western modernity on incongruous and otherwise backwards soils.