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5.0 von 5 Sternen Congratulations on Celebration, U.S.A.
In Celebration, U.S.A. Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins have provided us with a solid background of information on planned communities in the United States, with accounts of interviews conducted with the planners and builders of Celebration, with an overview of the lengthy and complicated transactions between Disney and Florida officials, and with a lively and...
Am 25. November 1999 veröffentlicht

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1.0 von 5 Sternen An inadequate book on a fascinating topic
Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins had all the opportunities when they researched Celebration, U.S.A. They bought a house in the town, sent their kids to school, made friends, joined the social circle, even interviewed a few people here and there. You'd think this would make an exceptional book - well researched, deeply felt, rigorously documented. It doesn't...
Am 19. September 1999 veröffentlicht


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1.0 von 5 Sternen An inadequate book on a fascinating topic, 19. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins had all the opportunities when they researched Celebration, U.S.A. They bought a house in the town, sent their kids to school, made friends, joined the social circle, even interviewed a few people here and there. You'd think this would make an exceptional book - well researched, deeply felt, rigorously documented. It doesn't. Instead, their book is disjointed, incomplete, and on every page gives the sensation of writers trying to cover for scanty research.
Several of the town's most important early struggles, like the school and its curriculum, or the poor home construction, are discussed in depth. However, the authors fail to provide context and completion for each issue. They never, for example, note the outcome of the battle that could be described as parents v. school, although the outcome certainly occured while they were residents in town. Nor do they discuss in any real detail the local and regional political climate that had such an effect on the school. This sort of thing turns their book into a series of stories with no beginnings and no endings.
They also completely missed many quieter, but just as crucial, events and movements in the town. They failed, for example, to document the Montessori School at all - not its beginnings, which were precedent-setting in Celebration, not its future, nothing. Frantz and Collins failed, too, to reach citizens of Celebration who *weren't* like themselves. There is little dicussion of the single parents, the renters, the gays, the elderly, or the (admittedly limited) ethnic minorities. These omissions create an incredible bias in their book.
Add to this the poor quality of the writing with its distracting conventions, and you have a worthless, random discourse on a truly gripping, relevant topic - the building of a new town by a corporate giant. Despite the fascinating subject, the book cannot hold the attention of the reader for any length of time. If you want to read a decent and interesting book about Celebration, read Andrew Ross's The Celebration Chronicles instead.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Congratulations on Celebration, U.S.A., 25. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
In Celebration, U.S.A. Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins have provided us with a solid background of information on planned communities in the United States, with accounts of interviews conducted with the planners and builders of Celebration, with an overview of the lengthy and complicated transactions between Disney and Florida officials, and with a lively and humorous account of their life in Disney's brave new town. On every page their desire to give the town a fair shake, to be unbiased in their observations, to be wholehearted in their participation, shines through.
Celebration has received its share of criticism, based it seems on an anti-Disney bias that does not allow for a fair analysis of the town, its successes or its shortcomings. On the other hand, it is too bad that those who moved to Celebration anticipating a magical solution to familial woes were doomed to come to terms with the reality that is Celebration, and with the fact that pixie dust alone has no curative power over long-standing problems.
We have shared the concerns of the authors with the problems at the school, their irritation with shoddy building practices, their delight at the freedom and safety their children experienced in the town, and their pleasure when, at the end of their time there, they knew that what they would miss most is "Celebration's genuine friendliness, a place infused with the sense that everyone there shared the dream of finding a better place to live and, as we had seen finally, a willingness to work to make the dream come true".
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1.0 von 5 Sternen "Nothing to Celebrate" when reporters move in, 4. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Based on excerpts from the book that dealt with Celeration School, it is apparent that the school should be shut down immediately. How dare they expect the children to learn self discipline or use integrated subject learning. We all know that teacher lecturing, student note taking, and regurgitation of information is the only real way to learn. As a teacher it has been my experience that if a child can be inspired to be an active learner the "basics," like math and punctuation, will follow. However, what would I know. Howard Gardner, who has done extensive research in the field of education and learning has apparently been wasting his time. He should have simply consulted these two writers who are infinitely more qualified. Hopefully, the authors will choke on every nickle they make from this book. It is more than apparent that they moved into the community for the sole purpose of gathering dirt to put in a book in order to put money in their pockets. If they wanted to make money off Disney why didn't they save themselves the trouble of moving and just do what others have done, sue Disney because they found some subliminal message in one of their movies?
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Interesting, informative,intruiging,although incomplete, 29. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
I decided to place myself on location for this reading. I spent a delightful 12 mornings, sipping au laits at Barnies, rocking by the lake and watching Celebrationites start their day, as I delved into this book. Like all good authors should,Doug and Cathy had done their homework. I could imagine it would be a difficult task to uncover as much of the dirt as they did. The Disney Corp. obviously went to extraordinary lengths to keep bad news under wraps and as new homeowners of rather expensive dreams, I could understand hesitation and guarded friendliness among the residents of this village. At the end ,I was left with the uncertainty of their purpose. Was it to gather the info, write the book and leave town. Or was this family drawn to the dream of this new social experience with a strong desire to contribute to its evolution, at least with more perserverence than the 18 months or so. I was surprised to find out that they had moved out of Celebration before the book was released. Given their "tell all" details of some of the more intimate goings-on at neighbors houses, perhaps fear of an old fashion lynching of yesteryear was adequate motivation to say adios.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Only a Mild Celebration, 18. Dezember 1999
Von Ein Kunde
I live in a master-planned community, so I have some experience with many of the seemingly strange rules and regulations described in the book. I'm also fascinated with new urbanism, so I was very excited when I found out about this book. It's higly readable, but there are some awkward places where the authors repeat each other. More troubling, I never got the sense that they went much beyond the perceptions and needs of their immediate family and neighbors. For two supposedly objective journalists, their particular opinions on the Celebration school spoke more of their own biases than anything else. Did anyone else feel like they were more concerned with their own property values than documenting the year or two in Celebration? For a much deeper and thoughtful account, read the "other" Celebration book by Andrew Ross. By the way, he mentions in his book that he tried to contact these authors, but that their editor told them not to talk to him. Interesting. Knowing that the various authors were in Celebration at about the same time, and having them interview many of the same residents was surreal.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Though full of interesting facts, a bit flat., 10. August 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Douglas Frantz and Catherine Collins did their homework. They moved to Celebration, joined the organizations, interviewed the principals, sent their kids to school, hung out with the locals.
However, their quest for objectivity strips the book of any life it could have had. I know these smart and well-travelled reporters had opinions about the neighbors, the lack of intellectual discussions, the maddening pastels, but there is only the barest hint of this. They try so hard to like Celebration you can see their jaws clenched through the smile. I wished I could shake them have them really confide in me.
Although they joined every organization and supposedly made many friends, it was a difficult decision for them to choose to stay more than a year. In carefully worded phrases, they admit it is not for them.
On a technical note, since the two of them wrote the book together, they would say "we did this" and then refer to "Doug and Cathy" in the same paragraph. It was disconcerting and confusing.
Read it if you want to know about Celebration.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An engaging book. An important book., 29. September 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Celebration may be the most important experiment in urban living in the last quarter century. Douglas Frantz and Cathy Collins have written exactly the kind of book most of us want to read on the topic -- one that's well-researched and well thought out, but also deeply personal and highly engaging. Their narrative flows along at an unstoppable pace. As you turn from incident to incident, from chapter to chapter, you don't even realize you're learning so much -- about the history of utopias, about arhictecture, about the promise and peril of starting over from scratch. Not until you near the end do you realize you've been privvy to one of the great experiments in the American Dream.
Most of the commentary about this book suggests it is about Disney. It's not. This book is about America, about how we love to build something to new, and about the problems that come when our dreams come up against reality. No matter what community you live in, this book will help make your neighborhood a better place, because it will help you be a better neighbor.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Disappointed, 21. Dezember 1999
As a follower of the Celebration story for many years, I was greatly disappointed by what I thought would be a new and interesting perspective on the model town. It was nothing of the sort. The book had the feel of so many pages of anti-Disney propaganda, and the repetitiveness of a bad serial. The authors of Celebration U.S.A. clearly made up their minds about Celebration long before signing off on a mortgage. Lacking in the detail needed to illustrate Celebration's experiment with the tenets of neotraditional style, the book offered splashes of cliched generalities such as "a return to the past" and "recapturing tradition." It soon became some sort of mantra exhorting Disney's ownership of the town, the rules imposed on property improvements and maintenance, and, interestingly, the attention the town received. Most tactless of all was the shadow of mockery cast on every description of residents, conversation with neighbors, and interaction with people doing what the authors SHOULD have been doing: giving the town a chance.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Good Enough, 16. November 1999
Von Ein Kunde
I am in the camp of rabid Disney haters. Someday, Disney and their ilk will return to the deepest pits of hell where they belong. Notwithstanding this mild bias, this book actually had me impressed with Disney. No, I would not live there. No, I would not visit there. No I would not make a public comment that Celebration is a good thing. But Disney did try to put into practice all of the new urbanism techniques that so many of us have written about for so long. Disney deserves the credit for funding this experiment, and the authors deserve high praise for making this valuable point. The weakness of this book is that the authors wrote it while they still lived in Celebration. As we learned from the Lynds in their books about Middleton, you need to get away from a place to see it up close. I hope the authors do a follow up later that ties together so many open questions. I suspect the people who have bashed this book are probably Disney employees, or pathetic mouse syncophants.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An insightful, insider's overview of Disney's "dream world", 11. August 1999
Von Ein Kunde
A smart idea! Instead of visiting as reporters for a few weeks, the authors moved themselves and their children to Disney's planned community of Celebration, Florida -- then stayed for a year! Here's a real inside viewpoint of Disney's "perfect small town", brought to life by two people who are smart, literate and have a broader view of the meaning, trends and consequences of planned living. As investigative reporters, they cast a wide net -- interviewing executives and residents; getting the back story; examining other planned communities across America (both recent and past). As residents and parents, they also deliver a more realistic, intimate portrait of scraped knees and bruised egos. The lesson is made clear by good, crisp reporting and insider experience: while people can move their families, their possessions and their lives to a new community, ultimately, one thing never changes -- who they are. A delicious read.
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Celebration, U.S.A: Living in Disney's Brave New Town
Celebration, U.S.A: Living in Disney's Brave New Town von Catherine Collins (Taschenbuch - September 2000)
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