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In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America's cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation--that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies. Rather, The Color of Law incontrovertibly makes clear that it was de jure segregation--the laws and policy decisions passed by local, state, and federal governments--that actually promoted the discriminatory patterns that continue to this day.
In this brilliant, heartbreaking book, Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. In vivid, intimate prose, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America's vast inequality--and to people's determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.
Gotham Unbound recounts the four-century history of how hundreds of square miles of open marshlands became home to six percent of the nation’s population. Ted Steinberg brings a vanished New York back to vivid, rich life. You will see the metropolitan area anew, not just as a dense urban goliath but as an estuary once home to miles of oyster reefs, wolves, whales, and blueberry bogs. That world gave way to an onslaught managed by thousands, from Governor John Montgomerie, who turned water into land, and John Randel, who imposed a grid on Manhattan, to Robert Moses, Charles Urstadt, Donald Trump, and Michael Bloomberg.
In an effort to explain why housing remains among the United States' most enduring social problems, Housing America explores five of the U.S.'s most fundamental, recurrent issues in housing its population: affordability of housing, homelessness, segregation and discrimination in the housing market, homeownership and home financing, and planning. It describes these issues in detail, why they should be considered problems, the history and fundamental social debates surrounding them, and the past, current, and possible policy solutions to address them. While this book focuses on the major problems we face as a society in housing our population, it is also about the choices we make about what is valued in our society in our attempts to solve them. Housing America is appropriate for courses in urban studies, urban planning, and housing policy.
Though New York's Lower East Side today is home to high-end condos and hip restaurants, it was for decades an infamous site of blight, open-air drug dealing, and class conflict--an emblematic example of the tattered state of 1970s and '80s Manhattan. Those decades of strife, however, also gave the Lower East Side something unusual: a radical movement that blended urban homesteading and European-style squatting in a way never before seen in the United States. Ours to Lose tells the oral history of that movement through a close look at a diverse group of Lower East Side squatters who occupied abandoned city-owned buildings in the 1980s, fought to keep them for decades, and eventually began a long, complicated process to turn their illegal occupancy into legal cooperative ownership. Amy Starecheski here not only tells a little-known New York story, she also shows how property shapes our sense of ourselves as social beings and explores the ethics of homeownership and debt in post-recession America.
Root Shock by Mindy Fullilove
Publication Date: 2004-06-01
They called it progress. But for the people whose homes and districts were bulldozed, the urban renewal projects that swept America starting in 1949 were nothing short of assault. Vibrant city blocks--places rich in history--were reduced to garbage-strewn vacant lots. When a neighborhood is destroyed its inhabitants suffer "root shock" a traumatic stress reaction related to the destruction of one's emotional ecosystem. The ripple effects of root shock have an impact on entire communities that can last for decades. In this groundbreaking and ultimately hopeful book, Dr. Mindy Fullilove examines root shock through the story of urban renewal and its effect on the African American community.