The Gospel of Concrete: American Infrastructure and Global Power


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships


American Studies


“The Gospel of Concrete” is the first interdisciplinary and global study of the US concrete industry. It explains how Americans contributed to making concrete the most consumed material on Earth after water, and why it has prevailed over alternatives such as treated wood or rammed earth—even as it has drawn widespread and enthusiastic disdain. The four chapters trace the material’s production and circulation, starting with the industry’s origins in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, and then following its expansion to the US South, the Global South, and outer space. By unearthing the deep and tangled roots of our attachment to concrete, the project offers a field guide to building a more sustainable and equitable future.