Anne Marie ToddMay 2, 2023
Valley of Heart's Delight
Environment and Sense of Place in the Santa Clara Valley
University of California Press 2022
This agricultural history explores the transformation of the Santa Clara Valley over the past one hundred years from America's largest fruit-producing region into the technology capital of the world. In the latter half of the twentieth century, the region's focus shifted from fruits--such as apricots and prunes--to computers. Both personal and public rhetoric reveals how a sense of place emerges and changes in an evolving agricultural community like the Santa Clara Valley.
In Valley of Heart's Delight: Environment and Sense of Place in the Santa Clara Valley (U California Press, 2022), Anne Marie Todd explores the concepts of place and placelessness, arguing that place is more than a physical location and that exploring a community's sense of place can help us to map how individuals experience their natural surroundings and their sense of responsibility towards the local environment. Todd extends the concept of sense of place to describe Silicon Valley as a non-place, where weakened or disrupted attachment to place threatens the environment and community. The story of the Santa Clara Valley is an American story of the development of agricultural lands and the transformation of rural regions.
Dr. Stephen R. Hausmann is an assistant professor of history at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.