Lecture 2. The American Minimum House on the World Stage

This lecture explores the connection between single-family home ownership and the ideals of democratic capitalism through the development, proliferation and eventual exportation of the American minimum house. The content introduces the development of the American minimum house and related economy housing programs in the US in the post-World War II period as part of a broader campaign of housing reform and political activism among capitalist builders and within US housing policy to contrast American housing with socialist and communist housing models led by the state in Western Europe and European communist states. Sites explore the iterations of minimum housing in the US, contrasts the model to European housing models, and connects material, production technique, and spatial character to period political economy and culture in the US. The lecture concludes with exploration of how the US diffused its single-family, free-standing, minimum housing model and its suburban location to non-dominant groups and across the globe through domestic and foreign aid programs in the later twentieth century.

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