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Power LinesPhoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest$
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Andrew Needham

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691139067

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691139067.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

The Valley of the Sun

The Valley of the Sun

(p.55) Chapter 2 The Valley of the Sun
Power Lines

Andrew Needham

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the Valley of the Sun. “The Valley of the Sun” was not only an idealized place. It was also a political project, the result of two of the most powerful forces in the postwar American political economy. The first was the ongoing legacy of New Deal policies that sought to fuel the national economy through debt-driven personal consumption. Part of the general postwar economic philosophy historians have labeled “growth liberalism” offered federal loan guarantees to a select population of white Americans choosing suburban living. The resulting “landscape of mass consumption” was plainly evident in Phoenix, both in the huge numbers of homes built after World War II and in the increasing numbers of electrical appliances that filled them. Local efforts to attract these consumers, and the potential capital they embodied, was the second force that created the Valley of the Sun.

Keywords:   Valley of the Sun, postwar American politics, American political economy, New Deal policies, debt-driven consumption, personal consumption, growth liberalism, mass consumption, national economy

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