In over three centuries of growth and change, American cities have exerted forces that have been both centrifugal--pulling people, resources, and interest toward them--and centripetal--sending out goods, services, and ideas. The story of how these forces evolved over time encompasses almost every aspect of American history. Always cognizant of change over time, this book explores the ways that urban development influenced people's lives and on the ways people shaped the urban environment. A city is simultaneously a social, economic, and political entity, and Howard P. Chudacoff and Judith E. Smith have taken care to examine each of these dimensions of urban life. Their focus is on urban society: its institutions, its activities, and, especially, its people. The authors address questions such as: Why do people go to the city? What do they find there? How do they cope? What do they contribute? How are they rewarded? In this, the Sixth Edition, Chudacoff and Smith pay particular attention to issues of race, ethnicity, gender, the built environment, regional differentials, and emerging cultural forms such as rock and rap music. New material has been added on the environmental impact of cities and suburbs and on the new racial and ethnic mix produced by the most recent immigration trends. In addition, the final chapter has been expanded to take into account issues relating to the presidential administration of George W. Bush and to the consequences of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.