Cover: Shantytown, USA: Forgotten Landscapes of the Working Poor, from Harvard University PressCover: Shantytown, USA in HARDCOVER

Shantytown, USA

Forgotten Landscapes of the Working Poor

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Product Details


$35.00 • £25.95 • €31.50

ISBN 9780674660458

Publication: April 2016


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

21 halftones


Lisa Goff’s Shantytown, USA is not your ordinary American Studies cuppa joe. But it’s one of those books you might pick up in a loose-change moment of curiosity and find yourself utterly unable to put down because it’s so unexpected, so smart, so good.—Dana D. Nelson, American Literary History

In her broadly researched debut book, Goff traces the history of shanties in America, beginning with Thoreau’s famous cabin on Walden Pond.Kirkus Reviews

Goff’s book excavates the long, untold history of American shantytowns from their emergence in the 1820s to the present day, providing a vivid look at an easily overlooked yet omnipresent and consequential American urban phenomenon. Her engaging work reveals much about the working poor, urban growth, and changing ideas about public space.—William A. Gleason, author of Sites Unseen: Architecture, Race, and American Literature

Lisa Goff guides us energetically and engagingly through the shanties and shantytowns of the United States. These ubiquitous, ever-present settlements have rarely attracted more than a passing glance and quick condemnation from outsiders. Goff’s prodigious detective work and empathy restore a significant corner of the American landscape to our view and our understanding.—Dell Upton, Professor of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles