The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

city services. The last topic is the book's weak link. No evidence is
presented to support the frequent assertion that services have been
distributed inequitably. The editors thus ignore a contrary claim in
Robert L. Lineberry's 1977 book, Equality and Urban Policy, which
should not have gone unchallenged. These shortcomings do not de-
tract, however, from otherwise good scholarship.
University of Georgia ARNOLD FLEISCHMANN
Sunbelt Cities: Politics and Growth since World War II. Edited by
Richard M. Bernard and Bradley R. Rice. (Austin: University of
Texas Press, 1983). Pp. x+346. Acknowledgments, introduction,
notes, contributors, maps, tables. $25.00, cloth; $9.95, paper.)
This book is a welcome addition to a growing body of literature on
the urban South and West. The editors have assembled original essays
on thirteen cities (Atlanta, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa, Dallas, Ft.
Worth, Houston, Oklahoma City, San Antonio, Albuquerque, Los
Angeles, Phoenix, San Diego) in the Sunbelt, which they define as
that territory below the 37th parallel stretching from the Southeast
to the Southwest. Their objective is to "provide readers with con-
venient and authoritative introductions to the histories" (p. 2) of these
cities, and for the most part this goal is attained. As with many an-
thologies, coverage and quality are uneven. Raymond A. Mohl's essay
on Miami and Arnold R. Hirsch's on New Orleans are outstanding,
demonstrating a knowledgeable grasp of the sources, an ability to place
their standard metropolitan statistical areas (SMSAs) within regional
and national contexts, and an appreciation of how the past has both
shaped and constrained policy choices.
The editors' introductory essay is another highlight of the an-
thology, drawing together the common threads among the disparate
essays. The general themes include the rapid postwar growth of Sun-
belt SMSAs (although central cities, especially in the South, frequently
did not share entirely in the demographic and economic boom); the
positive effect of federal expenditures during and after the Second
World War, which generated secondary and tertiary growth in the
region; the declining power of the old civic-commercial elite, replaced
by a combination of neighborhood advocates, minorities, and young
executives (though policies have changed less than the individuals im-
plementing them); a renewed interest in the urban core, especially as
a hotel-entertainment-residential center, as investment dollars have
been redirected through environmental, market, and political pres-


Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 88, July 1984 - April, 1985. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed November 25, 2015.