THE END OF EXURBIA: Who Are All Those People and Why Do They Want to Ruin Our Town? by John J. Tarrant

THE END OF EXURBIA: Who Are All Those People and Why Do They Want to Ruin Our Town?

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Who is John Tarrant and why has he written a book on the demise of exurbia? John Tarrant is an author (How to Win Your Boss's Love, Approval--and Job) and a resident of Westport, Connecticut, an ""exclusive"" community protected by singlefamily, large-lot zoning ordinances and high property taxes. There dwell ""people of consequence."" But the Good Life they have struggled for is changing. Teachers, hospital staff, policemen, and other municipal employees who work in exurbia are demanding the right to live there; along with an increasing elderly population, they are pressuring for low-cost housing and lower property taxes. As Tarrant glibly puts it: ""They have seen the beer commercial proclaiming that we only go around once in life and we are entitled to all the gusto we can get."" It seems that the Good Life wasn't all that great anyway. Pressure to achieve, status buying, the women's movement, teenage promiscuity and drug addiction, alcoholism, and family members trying to kill each other have all had their toll on exurbia. So maybe the inevitable change to a more heterogeneous community--a ""semiurb"" as Tarrant calls it--won't be that bad. Or will it? It's hard to tell: Tarrant's tone wobbles from outright snobbishness to militant condescension to cheerful fatalism, which leaves the reader with the second question--why was this book written--unanswered.

Pub Date: Dec. 7th, 1976
Publisher: Stein & Day