Howard Chudacoff book Summary


Howard Chudacoff book

Howard Chudacoff’s, Evolution of the American urban society talks about the transition of historic America to urbanized America due to the introduction of major key aspects. Despite being a young country, America has a fairly old history that is defined by the arrival and the integration of settles into the already occupied states. The present lifestyle is shaped by the social, economic, environmental and political social aspects of the history of the states. This, in turn, has led to the creation of an urbanized society which owes its existence to the history (Chudacoff, Smith and Baldwin, p. 204).

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the contents of Howard Chudacoff’s, Evolution of American urban society. The paper further focuses on the state of Colorado which is home to the four monumental cities. The second part of the paper looks at the roles the minorities have played in the urbanization of the cities, how people demonstrate their social status in the society and finally, some of the major shifts in the society?

Various aspects of Denver city: The Aurora city (Colorado)

Known for its suburban lifestyle and demographics, the city of Aurora is the third largest city in the state of Colorado. Aurora is home to less than half a million citizens making it one of the smaller cities in the country. The highest percentage of occupants consists of Caucasian who represents about 43% of the city’s population. The rest of the community consists of minority groups such as the Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians who represent 23%, 14%, and 5% respectively.

Through the analysis of the demographics, it is evident that the city is home to many groups. This has played a significant role in the evolution of Denver city. The presence of different groups has created awareness about different cultures and religions. This, in turn, has influenced the city into becoming a potential metropolitan city. These dynamics are reflective of the theme in Chudacoff’s book which writes on the role urbanization has played in the improvement of interaction.

The Lakewood city (Colorado)

            As the name suggests Lakewood is one of the more relaxed cities in the state. It’s filled with a number of recreational centers such as the Carmody recreational center and the Whitelock recreational center. The city has recorded a high rate of economic growth and development which is owed to the encouragement of new business proposals. Lakewood city has managed to keep up with the latest forms of infrastructure while maintaining its stance on being green. Economic growth goes hand in hand with urbanization. The book mentions that a high rate of economic growth has affected some of our cities in that the environment has been overlooked. Most of the societies are now recognizing the need to maintain the environment so as to increase its sustainability.

Englewood city center (Colorado)

Located to the next to the city of Denver from the north, Englewood is one of the cities of Colorado. It is not as active as Denver in that most of its activities is of a relaxed nature. Englewood prides itself in being one of the cities to have been built from the gold mining industry. This has played a significant role in the determination of some of the urbanized aspects of the city. The economic state of the city records an increased rate of development due to the increase in more industries. Englewood consists of a large number of neighborhoods that are both located in the downtown and the city center. The city center represents the modern and urbanized part of the city in that most of the new developments are situated in this area.

The downtown of Denver 16th street (Colorado)

The downtown of Denver Colorado represents a slightly different social structure of the state. This area is made up of one of the oldest neighborhoods and developments in the city. One can feel the presence of the history of the Denver through the downtown.  The city is home to a number of Native Americans who were the original settlers of the area. The city is thus occupied by different social groups who have created a metropolitan city. Downtown Denver has a history of gold mining which has shaped the formation of the first industries that contributed to the urbanization of the city. The infrastructure is different in that it is reflective of the historical buildings. Some of this history has however been wiped out due to the creation of new buildings that are more suitable for the modernization of the city.

Analysis of Chudacoff’s book

Chudacoff’s book on the changing lifestyles in the American states places emphasis on the role of urbanization in the social-cultural, economic, environmental and political arrangement of our present society. Chudacoff’s mentions the fact that modern cities have been created to suit the needs and the demands of society. The creation of the latest forms of infrastructure from the landscapes to the skyscrapers has been put in place to accommodate the growing society. One of the themes of the book is the change in the lifestyle in general due to the increased rate of urbanization.  This, in turn, has changed the way the society interacts with each other. The states have thus received new identities which are owed to the incorporation of the historic and urbanized aspects of the societies (Chudacoff, Smith and Baldwin, p. 124).

What roles have minority groups played in society?

Colorado is located in the southern part of America. The south is known for its history of slavery which made a significant contribution to the prosperity of the state. The ban on slavery led to the integration between the minority blacks and whites. Apart from the blacks, the state became home to the Hispanics, Asians, and Jews. It is important to recognize the Native Americans who continue to occupy some of the historic locations. Over the years, the state of Colorado has integrated to form of culturally diverse state which is represented by different social groups.

The presence of the minority is highly felt in the state of Colorado. The migration of the Jews and the Asians brought about an increase in economic growth due to the building of businesses and the trading centers. This, in turn, has led to the introduction of different ethnic restaurants that serve up different varieties of international food. The African American community contributes to the more urban and hip society. They have made considerable strides in social-cultural, political and economic aspects. This change in lifestyle is reflective of the book which mentions how immigrants contributed to urbanization and economic growth of the American states.

How do people demonstrate their social status in society?

People illustrate their social status through the social functions they attend. Social status is demonstrated in by the choice of the residential areas. The members of the more elite population attend functions in the country clubs and high-end social functions. These practices are reflective of the functions that were carried out in the times of the founding families. The social status is also demonstrated through the real-estate, schools and the cars people drive. The society is divided into social classes. The lower social classes do not portray a flashy lifestyle. They use national parks and recreational facilities for social events. The class was a major issue in the past. Chudacoff demonstrates the division in of different social groups in the past. This is still reflective in the present society.

Major shifts in society

The major shifts in society can be approached from different aspects. In the case of the economic aspect, society has moved from an agrarian economy to a more urbanized and industrial economy. In the case of the social aspects, society has shifted from an enclosed society to a more exposed society. This has led to the globalization of the state due to the introduction of the latest forms of technology.  The gap in the social classes continues to reduce due to the improvement promotion of interactive community events. The state has always had an appreciation for the environment from the historical days. Community is going back to its roots in that society is aware of the need to recognize the importance of environmental conservation (Chudacoff, Smith and Baldwin, p. 234).

In conclusion, the state of Colorado is one of the proud states of the United States.  Chudacoff writes on the change of the countries state from its historic past to its present modern approach to life. This is attributed to the extensive urbanization that the country has been experiencing. Urbanization is caused as a result of the increased demand for housing, employment, and communication. The lifestyle of the country is thus the main driving force for the present situation of the country as a whole.


Works cited

Chudacoff, Howard., Smith, Judith., Baldwin, Peter. The evolution of the American urban society. Prentice Hall, 2005.


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