1976: AGENDA FOR TOMORROW by Stewart L. Udall

1976: AGENDA FOR TOMORROW

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Now that the American Empire has declined if not fallen, the Secretary of the Interior urges that we energetically emulate the glory that was Greece. Specifically, he advocates an end to piecemeal projects of ""rural and urban renewal"" and their replacement with a balanced, nationwide program--the Apollonian virtue of seeing all parts in terms of the whole. In this book, he describes the haphazard development of America based on the now outmoded ""gospel of growth,"" and suggests that the promise of 1776 for a humane society must be rescued from the morass: federal grants must finance ""at least half the cost""--and tax structuring should benefit the rest--for a new revitalization of ""planning addressed to the total environment of entire regions"" rather than tracts, or shopping centers. The Secretary's book is rousing and readable, but it tends to be too general in its prescriptions. Reorganizing the tax structure is indeed a problematic strategy; coordinating state, local and federal funds--as has already been seen in the War on Poverty--has so far been an impossibility. The proposal that improvement in ""the ambiance of the city"" should go ""hand in hand with a historic shift of political power to the local arena"" has already been widely voiced, and the Secretary offers no new plan for its implementation. The prestige of the Secretary's office may carry his message, ""Slow down and plan,"" to some land developers' ears. But, basically, this book will speak to conservationists who already feel that ""the stewardship of urban resources"" is ""a moral imperative,"" or in any case, a necessity.

Pub Date: Nov. 27th, 1968
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World