Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Library Loot ~ November 5-11

Fragmented by Design: Why St. Louis Has So Many Governments ~ by E. Terrence Jones, 2000, history
St. Louis is a rarity in that it's metropolitan area is split not only into the usual political parties, but into a large number of political entities as well.   Citizens here distrust government, but seem to love governments.   The book begins with the split between the City and County of St. Louis in 1876 and goes on to how St. Louis went from one dominant government, the City of St. Louis, to more than 300 in the region today.   It also touches on the ramifications of having that many individual municipalities, some tiny and some huge.   This book explores the suburban explosion, the rise of regional districts, and the outlook for the future.  We have rejected being like someone else and, instead, decided to be distinctively St. Louis:  fragmented by design.
The title page has been signed by "Terry Jones," though I first thought there was no title page in the book.  The first couple of pages are "praise quotations" for the book, which isn't unusual.  But putting the copyright date on the back of the second page is rather strange.  Opposite it is the Table of Contents and then, after turning another page, you'll finally find the title page.  Turn another page, and there's the Dedication to his wife.  Turn another page, and there's a Preface.  Turn another page, and there a 3-page Foreword.  None of these pages is numbered, and only the copyright page and the Foreword include writing on the left-hand page.  Now we get to Chapter 1, where actual page numbers begin on the second page.  What an odd arrangement!  And I haven't even started reading the book yet.  In this video, Terry Jones talks about how St. Louis became so fragmented.

If the video quits working, view it on YouTube.

This 1875 map is from an article published February 22, 2014:  Summary of City-County Reorganization Attempts According to Fragmented by Design by E. Terrence Jones by Richard Bose.

In case you wonder why I'm reading such a book, it's because I moved to St. Louis in June.  Yesterday, I voted here for the second time, and I'm trying to understand this place.  By the way, I live in University City, where the population was 35,148 in 2013.  That's in St. Louis County due west of the City of St. Louis.  The combined metropolitan area has a population of 2,900,605.  Plus me.

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire @ The Captive Reader and Linda @ Silly Little Mischief that encourages us to share the names of books we checked out of the library.  See what others got this week.

2 comments: said...

I recently moved too. I think it is really smart to read a book about local politics.. Perhaps I should read some books about my new region as well..

Bonnie Jacobs said...

Where do you live, Iris? Back in the 1970s, I read books about Knoxville, Tennessee, when my job transferred me there. It was very helpful to get a feel for the area.