Ben Ross makes appearance at Talking Leaves.

Ben Ross, author of Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism, will be appearing at Talking Leaves Bookstore, 3158 Main Street, on Wednesday, October 1, at 5:00 p.m. to speak about his book and to sign copies.

Benjamin Ross, author of Dead End, to appear at Talking Leaves Books in Wednesday, Oct 1 at 5 pm.

In conjunction with the Citizens' Regional Transit Corporation, Talking Leaves Books is pleased to announce an appearance by Benjamin Ross, author of Dead End: Suburban Sprawl and the Rebirth of American Urbanism (Oxford University Press). Mr. Ross will give a brief talk and then autograph copies of the book on Wednesday, October 1, at 5 pm at Talking Leaves…Books on Main Street. The event is free and open to the public; copies of the book will be available for purchase. Anyone wishing to have a book signed is expected to purchase it from Talking Leaves, as an act of support and respect for the author and the store hosting his talk.

More than five decades have passed since Jane Jacobs wrote her classic The Death and Life of Great American Cities, and since a front page headline in the New York Times read, "Cars Choking Cities as 'Urban Sprawl' Takes Over." Yet sprawl persists, and not by mistake. It happens for a reason.

As an activist and a scholar, Benjamin Ross is uniquely placed to diagnose why this is so. Dead End traces how the ideal of a safe, green, orderly retreat where hardworking members of the middle class could raise their children away from the city mutated into the McMansion and strip mall-ridden suburbs of today. Ross finds that sprawl is much more than bad architecture and sloppy planning. Its roots are historical, sociological, and economic. He uses these insights to lay out a practical strategy for change, honed by his experience leading the largest grass-roots mass transit advocacy organization in the United States. The problems of smart growth, sustainability, transportation, and affordable housing, he argues, are intertwined and must be solved as a whole. The two keys to creating better places to live are expansion of rail transit and a more genuinely democratic oversight of land use.

Dead End is, ultimately, about the places where we live our lives. Both an engaging history of suburbia and an invaluable guide for today's urbanist, it will serve as a primer for anyone interested in how Americans actually live.

Anyone who attended or followed the news surrounding June’s Congress for New Urbanism Conference will find this talk interesting and informative.
Benjamin Ross was president of Maryland's Action Committee for Transit for 15 years, which grew under his leadership into the nation's largest grass-roots transit advocacy group. He is a consultant on environmental problems and served on committees of the National Academy of Sciences and EPA Science Advisory Board. He writes frequently on political and social topics in Dissent Magazine and is the author of The Polluters: The Making of Our Chemically Altered Environment.

For more information, Jonathon Welch, 716.837.8554, tleavestleavesbooks.com