Saturday, July 16, 2005

Welcome to Edge City

I am in the Apple Store in Walnut Creek. This is one of the line of exceedingly prosperous Bay Area suburbs over the mountains east from the Oakland side of the bay. Washington Post journalist Joel Garreau fifteen years ago wrote the book Edge City about these kinds of places, of which the explicit subject was America's recent urban grown, but which in fact was an extraordinarily prescient book about the future of retail, of the information economy, the growth of the mentalities of red and blue states, and the kind of country that America was coming. This book influenced me as much as any book ever had. People like David Brooks and Virginia Postrel have spent the years since explaining the same things much later and with less insight. And as someone interested in how the modern world is growing, this book taught me what to look at.

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