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A compelling history of the national conflicts that resulted from efforts to produce the first definitive American dictionary of English In The Dictionary Wars, Peter Martin recounts the patriotic fervor in the early American republic to produce a definitive national dictionary that would rival Samuel Johnson's 1755 Dictionary of the English Language. But what began as a cultural war of independence from Britain devolved into a battle among lexicographers, authors, scholars, and publishers, all vying for dictionary supremacy and shattering forever the dream of a unified American language. The overwhelming questions in the dictionary wars involved which and whose English was truly American and whether a dictionary of English should attempt to be American at all, independent from Britain. Martin tells the human story of the intense rivalry between America's first lexicographers, Noah Webster and Joseph Emerson Worcester, who fought over who could best represent the soul and identity of American culture. Webster believed an American dictionary, like the American language, ought to be informed by the nation's republican principles, but Worcester thought that such language reforms were reckless and went too far. Their conflict continued beyond Webster's death, when the ambitious Merriam brothers acquired publishing rights to Webster's American Dictionary and launched their own language wars. From the beginning of the nineteenth century to the end of the Civil War, the dictionary wars also engaged America's colleges, libraries, newspapers, religious groups, and state legislatures at a pivotal historical moment that coincided with rising literacy and the print revolution. Delving into the personal stories and national debates that arose from the conflicts surrounding America's first dictionaries, The Dictionary Wars examines the linguistic struggles that underpinned the founding and growth of a nation.
"A growing movement to replace charmless suburban sprawl with civilized, familiar places that people love." So wrote Time Magazine in a recent article about Andres Duany, Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk and Peter Calthorpe, leaders of the dynamic urban design revolution coming to be known as the New Urbanism. Their breakthrough planning conceptspropose a vision of the future that combines the best of the past with the realities and modern conveniences of today. Part of a broader trend toward the restoration of community and concern for a more sustainable environment, the New Urbanism addresses many of the crucial issues of our time: the decline of America's cities, the rebuilding of its crumbling infrastructure, housing affordability, crime and traffic congestion. Not without controversy, the proponents of this new design approach suggest bold alternatives to the present sprawl and isolation that they see as the consequence of five decadesof poorly planned suburban growth. Like the successful older neighborhoods and small towns where many of us grew up, the designs of the New Urbanism integrate housing, shops, workplaces, parks and civil facilities into close-knit communities that are both charming and functional. Walkability is key, but cars aren't excluded. Public places lie at the heart of these designs which set aside their most valued sites for parks, schools, churches, meeting halls and other civic uses. Affordability is also an important consideration--a wide range from Seaside, the acclaimed new resort town in Florida's panhandle, to a revitalization plan for the deteriorating core ofdowntown Los Angeles. Also included is a mobile-home village in Arizona (cited by Progressive Architecture in its annual design awards), the rebuilding of the nation's largest "urban renewal" housing project in Texas and a "sustainable community" for 12,000 in British Columbia. Initiated by developers, government agencies and/orcitizen advocacy groups, these pioneering new communities and infill projects offer simple yet compelling solutions to many frequently encountered planning problems. The extensively documented case studies in this book include photographs, drawings, diagrams and urban design codes--more than 500 images in all, a majority of which are in color. Essays by the movement's leading practitioners clearly articulate the principles of the New Urbanism. Commentaries by prominent architecture and urban planning theorists complete this comprehensive publication.The New Urbanism advocates an ambitious yet pragmatic agenda for the building and rebuilding of our neighborhoods, towns and cities. This book provides an invaluable guide to this emerging movement forarchitects, urban planners, civic leaders and concerned citizens; it is also must reading for anyone who cares about the future of America's communities.