Redesigning the American Dream: Gender, Housing, and Family Life

American Library Association, Notable Book Award

NEA Exemplary Design Research Award

Paul Davidoff Award, Outstanding Publication in Urban Planning

Americans still build millions of dream houses in neighborhoods that sustain Victorian stereotypes of the home as "woman's place" and the city as "man's world." Urban historian and architect Dolores Hayden tallies the personal and social costs of an American "architecture of gender" for the two-earner family, the single-parent family, and single people. Many societies have struggled with the architectural and urban consequences of women's paid employment: Hayden traces three models of home in historical perspective—the haven strategy in the United States, the industrial strategy in the former USSR, and the neighborhood strategy in European social democracies—to document alternative ways to reconstruct neighborhoods.

Revised and expanded in 2002 and still utterly relevant today as the New Urbanist architects have taken up Hayden's critique of suburban space, this award-winning book is essential reading for architects, planners, public officials, and activists interested in women's social and economic equality.

Reviews of the book:

...the most cynical anti-planner and the scrappiest tenant organizer will be pleasantly surprised to see that Hayden includes positions of class, race, and the economic underpinnings of women's position.

— Susan Hamovitch, City Limits important book for feminists as well as for professionals, academics, and the general public.

— Library Journal (starred review)

It is time to calculate how much of our lives are lost in the dream world.

 — Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe

Many of us are rich in private space but wretchedly poor in ideas about how to shelter two-income families and single-parent households in which at least one parent works a double day. This timely and imaginative book does a soul good.

— Arlie Hochschild, The New York Times Book Review

This is a book about space: how we see it, use it, spend it, live in it...It's absolutely fascinating to read.

— Carolyn See, The Los Angeles Times