THE POSTWAR TRANSFORMATION OF ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO, 1945–1972
By Robert Turner Wood
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From the end of World War II to the closing months of 1972, Albuquerque, New Mexico, underwent as dramatic a transformation as any American city ever has in such a short time. Its population exploded from about 50,000 to more than five times that number, and the median income of its citizens adjusted for inflation doubled. Fundamental changes took place in the character of the city, as the rugged individualism of the people gave way to more cooperative behavior, and authority relaxed throughout the society. Such broad social changes could also be seen in the country at large, but in Albuquerque they transpired more rapidly and vividly. Ex-Governor Clyde Tingley, Pete Domenici before he became a U.S. Senator, County Commission Chairman Dorothy Cline, Chicano activist Reies Tijerina and many others come to life on these pages. Their words and acts have had a continuing impact on the paths the city has followed to the present day.
Robert Turner Wood first moved to Albuquerque in 1969 for graduate work in American studies at the University of New Mexico, where he completed his PhD with a dissertation on the recent history of the city. His work experience shows his interest in all areas of city life, for he has been a college English instructor, a city planner, a database editor, real estate appraiser, and a medical librarian. Over the years he has written articles on Albuquerque history for local publications.
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