Book reference: _Building Domestic Liberty_ Polly
Polly Wynn Allen is a housing / community building / cohousing activist
in Cambridge Mass. She directs the non-profit organization, Neighborhood
Housing Partnership (NHP).
Polly's book presents one set historical roots for residential community
building / cohousing.
From the back of the paperback edition:
"That enduring American institution, the detached single-family home,
has long been subjected to intense criticism by a small but vocal
procession of architects, sociologists, and feminists... Allen analyzes
the architectural ideology of one such critic, feminist philosopher
Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935), in light of Gilman's family
background, social standing, and commitment to the tenets of the
turn-of-the-century women's movement... Thanks to Allen's careful
reading of the life and work of Gilman, those of us concerned with the
state of the contemporary American housing can become acquainted
with--or reintroduced to--a kindred spirit."--Winterthur Portfolio
"To Gilman and to other architectural feminists, securing woman's place
was a social and design issue, a public cause demanding communal and
environmental support. It was, in the words of Polly Wynn Allen's lucid
_Building Domestic Liberty_,...a crusade against 'the authoritarian
speech of the single-family home' " -- New York Times
"Provides a clear and structured exposition of Gilman's ideas... It is
written with considerable irony and from a stance that is at the same
time admiring and critical. Allen bluntly exposes Gilman's racism and
class bias, her denial of essential human differences, the overstatement
and pretension that characterize her attempts at social ethics. At the
same time, Allen contributes an analysis of Gilman's approach to
architecture, landscape, and neighborhood design that adds to the case
for her importance." --American Historical Review
"Allen has situated her subject in the nineteenth-century 'social
landscape' and sifted through fiction, poetry, essays, articles, and
diaries to describe Gilman's vision for the future of a liberated
domestic life... A well-written, scholarly, and original presentation."
Defining herself as a "pragmatic visionary," Polly Allen is a leading
advocate for multicultural affordability in the contemporary co-housing
movement. she is founder and executive director of Neighborhood Housing
Partnership, Inc., based near Central Square in Cambridge,
The University of Massachusetts Press
-- end quotes from back cover --
AUTHOR: Allen, Polly Wynn, 1936-
TITLE: Building domestic liberty : Charlotte Perkins Gilman's architectural
feminism / Polly Wynn Allen.
IMPRINT: Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 1988.
PHYSICAL FEATURES: x, 195 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
NOTES: Includes index. * Bibliography: p. 179-190.
Gilman, Charlotte Perkins, 1860-1935 -- Political and social views. *
Feminism and literature -- United States. * Women in literature. *
Architecture, Domestic, in literature. * Space (Architecture) in
literature. * Home in literature. * Sex role in literature.
* Domestic fiction, American -- History and criticism.
ISBN/ISSN: 0-87023-627-X (alk. paper) : * 0-87023-628-8 (pbk. : alk. paper) :
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