The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 128
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The index tried this user's patience (the Second Bank of the United States
ought to be under "Second .. ." or "Bank .. .," not "United States Bank").
These papers will probably be of greatest use to non-Polk specialists working
on Jacksonian politics. And there is probably no better way to acquire a feel
for the politics of the period than to browse through letters such as these.
New Mexico State University GENE BRACK
Instant Cities: Urbanization and the Rise of San Francisco and Denver. By
Gunther Barth. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1975. Pp. xxv+310o.
Notes, bibliography, index. $11.95.)
An "instant city," apparently, is a boomtown which grows to such an extent
that the industry and transportation facilities it attracts change it into an
"ordinary city." If this definition seems a bit vague and unexciting that fact
is because the author's interpretations are unclear and his general concept un-
convincing. Gunther Barth, an historian at the University of California,
Berkeley, nonetheless, presents his case for the existence of the "instant city"
through discursive chapters concerning boom cities in world history, early
urban settlement in the American West, Salt Lake City, and then through a
discussion comparing the development of San Francisco and Denver.
Based mainly upon secondary sources and newspapers, the book presents pre-
cious little that is new, although the short chapter on technology and urban
change is worthwhile. Bouncing from California to Colorado and back with
minimal transitions and chronological consistency Barth rarely scratches
through the patina of well-known events. Instant Cities is a book of generaliza-
tions, without the details of who, where, when, or why, and concludes with an
irritating bibliographic essay which uses shortened titles for books. Certainly,
it is the weakest volume in the otherwise admirable Urban Life in America
Colorado State University
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/m1/146/: accessed May 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.