ANY LARGE-SCALE LOOK at America ends up involving a legion of co-conspirators, I've discovered. Hundreds of people all over the country contributed interviews, information, candid advice, incisive readings, and lasting companionship to this effort. It quite simply could not have been done without them. I regret that I cannot either thank each of them here or cite them all adequately in the text. Any errors of fact, emphasis, or interpretation in this volume are entirely my own.


Milton Coleman, the assistant managing editor for the metropolitan report of the washington Post, actually sought the opportunity to ship me out on long patrol. When I returned with tales of "emerging cities," "shadow governments," and "Cluster 31," he did not flinch, much. My line editor, Douglas B. Feaver, voluptuously fulfilled his promise to kick my butt to new heights. Deborah Heard, my number three boss, held my hand.

Benjamin C. Bradlee, the executive editor of the Washington Post, Leonard Downie, Jr., its managing editor, and Richard Harwood, former deputy managing editor, gave me the job from which this book sprang, and then the leave of absence to write it. Few were more supportive of my efforts than Don Graham, the Post's publisher.

My wife, Adrienne, was my most trusted editor. She adjusted fairly gracefully to my materializing in her workday. (Although unsolicited analysis of the dialogue in another person's favorite lunchtime soap opera turns out to be more of a threat to a marriage than I would have guessed.) Toward the end she even volunteered that when I was on the road, she found my perpetual presence missed.

Henry Allen—America's foremost practitioner of that oxymoron, a journalism of ideas—was my moderately patient tutor, asking questions to which I did not have answers, and reading books I did not know existed. He also claims he had a 1960s New York crash pad on the wall of which he painted "Welcome to Edge City." Osmotically, I must have gotten even my title from him.

Barbara Blechman Sherbill, my indefatigable researcher, was a bountiful source of wit, cheer, files, books, babies, and bagels. My mother, Gloria Garreau, of Pawtucket and Little Compton, Rhode Island, continued to be exceedingly generous with her time and resources. Rafe Sagalyn, my agent, who never got over selling a book about places like Tysons Corner, was always calm, reassuring, thoughtful, effective, and right. Michael Barone, Jerry Knight, Joel Kotkin, and Barry and Sandy Lopez were sources of expertise and kindred souls. John Loberg's abiding interest in the woods, its critters, and horticulture kept me grounded. Olwen Price transcribed hundreds of tapes, sitting under her headphones making wry welsh anarchist asides. Dave Cook, cartographic wizard, created the maps. Dennis (comer) Pyles kept running a commentary and, more important, my computer. Ken Garrett made my author photo. It only seemed right: for the National Geographic he spends half his time in exotic terrain.

In the topsy-turvy world of New York publishing in the late twentieth century, quite a few editors got a chance to improve my manuscript as they passed through Doubleday. Nancy Evans and Nan Talese helped jump-start this project. Patrick Filley was strikingly imaginative in shaping it and getting it off the ground. Steve wasserman provided critical midcourse corrections. Ann Godoff flitted in solely, it seems, to provide a crucial in-flight refueling, wrestling a key check out of the bureaucracy. David Gernert brought the project in for a landing in style. The legendary copyeditor Frances Apt swept up the debris.

In the middle of all this, God bless him, there was Paul Golob. There is nothing like having your manuscript come under the pencil of a bright twenty-six-year-old who has spent his entire life in Manhattan, except for four years at Harvard, to remind you just how many extraordinary ways there are of looking at this country.

Many colleagues at the Washington Post contributed to this work, including, alphabetically, David S. Broder, Ron Browne, Victoria Churchville, Al Crenshaw, the late Herb Denton, Kirstin Downey, Lynda Edwards, Noel Epstein, Patrice Games-Carter, Cynthia Gorney, John Harris, Alison Howard, Rob Howe, Gwen Ifill, Robert G. Kaiser, John Lancaster, Jay Mathews, Eric Charles May, Caroline Mayer, Peter Lester Milius, Courtland Milloy, Dan Morgan, William Raspberry, T. R. Reid, Paul Richard, Lynda Richardson, Phyllis Richman, Wendy Ross, Bob Thompson, James M. Thresher, Mary Lou Tousignant, Bob Webb, Linda Wheeler, and Juan Williams.

Christopher B. Leinberger, of Santa Fe, pioneered in the popular press the concept of Edge Cities—which he called "urban villages"—in his October 1986 article in The Atlantic With Charles Lockwood called "How Business Is Reshaping America." Ever since he has offered great quotes, good cheer, and sartorial inspiration.

Claritas, L.P., one of America's premiere marketing demographic outfits, burned mainframe computer time lavishly, helping me around statistical time lags caused by so much of Edge City rising after the 1980 U.S. Census, but before the 1990 results dribbled out. I am especially indebted to Mark Capaldini, Robin E. Rice, and Doug Anderson.

As this work progressed, market analyst Pamela Manfre and urban designer Patricia L. Faux became my esteemed cohorts, dedicated to the idea that it is possible to make Edge Cities come out right. Cory Amonn is the guardian of the trade and service marks. The manuscript was lawyered by Kathy Trager.

Among those who offered crucial insights into this new world were Boyd Van Ness and his troops at Coldwell Banker Commercial, E. Wayne Angle of Homart Development Company, wilbur Zelinsky and Peirce Lewis of Penn State, Leo Marx of MIT, Robert Fishman of Rutgers at Camden, E. M. Risse of Synergy Planning, Katherine Gehbauer of The Office Network, Peter O. Muller of the University of Miami, James Rouse of the Enterprise Foundation, Tom Baerwald of the National Science Foundation, Ron Abler of the Association of American Geographers, Tony Downs of the Brookings Institution, Tom Black of the Urban Land Institute, James Todd, president of the Hazel-Peterson Companies, Josef W. Konvitz of Michigan State, Charles Fenyvesi, author of When the World Was Whole, James Burke, author of Connections, Larry Harrison, author of Underdevelopment Is a State of Mind, Nick Lemann of The Atlantic, and Jean Gottmann, author of the book that is godfather to us all, Megalopolis.

I shall never forget the eight-lane drift across Georgia Route 41 demanded by Peirce Lewis so that he could pounce on an unsuspecting artifact of the culturally significant landscape.

Others not already mentioned here or in the text who served as compasses, orienting me in my travels, included:

In the New Jersey-New York-Connecticut area, George Sternlieb of Rutgers, William H. Whyte, author of The Organization Man and City, Scott Toombs of Princeton Forrestal Village, Roger Garreau of A T & T and Lorrie Garreau, Sally Lane of the Trentonian, and Richard K. Rein, editor of one of the first newspapers specifically targeting an Edge City. That paper is called, appropriately enough, U.S. r. Most especially, David G. Shulman of Salomon Brothers and his globe-girdling band of young analysts, who produce, in the far-too-modest guise of real estate reports, some of the most insightful cross-cultural examinations of cities, both old and Edge, I know.

In the Philadelphia area, Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, authors of Learning from Las Vegas; James Timberlake and Steve Kieran of Kieran, Timberlake & Harris; and Don Cook, my clip service and sounding board.

In the Boston area, Ralph and Barbara Whitehead of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Gene Mallove of MIT, David Birch of Cognetics, Tom Grape of Spalding & Slye, Glenn Miller of Bridgewater State, and the incomparable Sheila Murphy of Mount Holyoke.

In the Detroit area, Chris Cook of the Detroit Free Press and Kathy Sue Horn, Peter Gavrilovich of the Free Press, David Cole and David Lewis of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, John L. Wright of the Henry Ford Museum, and Leo Tosto of Trerice Tosto, commercial real estate. In addition, on the subject of how the automobile shaped Edge City, I am indebted to Robert Cervero and William Garrison of the University of California at Berkeley.

In the Atlanta area, Stacy Jolna of Cable News Network, Gregg Logan of Robert Charles Lesser & Company, Carol Edwards, Bart Lewis of the Atlanta Regional Commission, Truman Hartshorn of Georgia State, Dana White of Emory, Marilyn Milloy of Newsday, Ron Roach of the offices of U.S. Representative John Lewis, and Bill Dedman and Nathan McCall, now or then of the Atlanta journal and Constitution and the Washington Post.

In the Phoenix area, former mayor Terry Goddard, former city planner Rick Counts, Tom Miller, author of On the Border and other tales, Jana Bommersbach of New Times, Grady Gammage, Jr., Elizabeth Rogers, Larry Landry, Mike Rappoport of the Salt River Project, Don Dyekman of the Community Associations Institute, and Ioanna Morfessis of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.

In the Dallas area, Ben Carpenter, the founding father of Las Colinas, and David Dillon and Rochelle Riley of the Dallas Morning News.

In the Houston area, Gerald Hines and Louis Sklar of Gerald Hines Interests, Incorporated, George Mitchell of The Woodlands, Tom Curtis of Texas Monthly and Sandy Sheehy, architectural theoretician Douglas Pegues Harvey, architectural historian Stephen Fox, and Barrio Santos, who has one of the world's keenest understandings of the hidden life of the city and who is probably the world's only Mexican-American cabdriver and locksmith pursuing his master's degree in transportation planning at the University of Houston after gaining a degree in economics from Berkeley and studying at the University of Notre Dame. In the Los Angeles-Irvine area, Mark Baldaserre of the Program in Social Ecology, University of California at Irvine, Ray Catalano, now of the University of California at Berkeley, Ray Watson, first planner of Irvine, Larry Agran, former mayor of Irvine, Tom Kendrick of the Orange County Performing Arts Center, spiritual consultant Jack W. Sims, Richard Louv, author of Childhood's Future, Kathy Louv, and Susan Kelleher of the Orange County Register. But most memorably, Edward W. Scja of UCLA, the only avowed Marxist I have ever interviewed about Postmodernism while melting in his Jacuzzi/hot-tub spa.

In the San Francisco Bay area, Brad Inman, John Jacobs, and Kate Macdonald, then or now of the San Francisco Examiner, Nora Gallagher, Ernest and Christine Callenbach, David Dowall and Cynthia Kroll of the University of California at Berkeley, and James Kennedy of the Contra Costa planning department. Most unforgettably, Jay Vance of Berkeley, Jean Vance of San Francisco State University, and Bonnie Loyd, editor of Landscape magazine. It is with them that I spent that October evening in the Berkeley Hills sipping Louis Martini Special Reserve 1978 by candlelight while we gazed out through the Vances' picture window watching San Francisco burn. There was not a lot else to do that night, in the immediate aftermath of the Great 1989 Earthquake.

In the Washington area, Tysons Corner historian and geographer Shelly Mastran, Roger K. Lewis and Robert D. Mitchell of the University of Maryland, Joseph E. Brown of EDAW, Incorporated, Bob Kelly, April Young, architects Philip A. Esocoff of Keyes Condon Florance, and Michael E. Hickok, the region's premiere demographers George and Eunice Grier, and Alicia Mundy and Duncan Spencer of Regardie's magazine.

Finally, while most of the developers I met were congenial and even idealistic people, the two who contributed the most, in their way, were Don White and Sid Jacobson of Gainesville, Virginia. They developed the land around my first Virginia farm, causing me to vainly beat my little fists against their schemes, driving me deep into that study of the limits of the law and the American national character which culminated in this book. For launching me on my journey, I have no choice but to be in their debt. Not coincidentally, as a result of their work, Edge City can be read as something in the way of my final report to all the people—all the people—of Fauquier County, Virginia, concerning the grace of the future of our lives. What a long strange trip it's been.

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