American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass / Edition 1

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Overview

This powerful and disturbing book clearly links persistent poverty among blacks in the United States to the unparalleled degree of deliberate segregation they experience in American cities.

American Apartheid shows how the black ghetto was created by whites during the first half of the twentieth century in order to isolate growing urban black populations. It goes on to show that, despite the Fair Housing Act of 1968, segregation is perpetuated today through an interlocking set of individual actions, institutional practices, and governmental policies. In some urban areas the degree of black segregation is so intense and occurs in so many dimensions simultaneously that it amounts to "hypersegregation."

The authors demonstrate that this systematic segregation of African Americans leads inexorably to the creation of underclass communities during periods of economic downturn. Under conditions of extreme segregation, any increase in the overall rate of black poverty yields a marked increase in the geographic concentration of indigence and the deterioration of social and economic conditions in black communities. As ghetto residents adapt to this increasingly harsh environment under a climate of racial isolation, they evolve attitudes, behaviors, and practices that further marginalize their neighborhoods and undermine their chances of success in mainstream American society. This book is a sober challenge to those who argue that race is of declining significance in the United States today.

This powerful and disturbing book links persistent poverty among blacks in the United States to the unparalleled degree of deliberate segregation they experience in American cities. "A major contribution to our study of both racism and poverty."--Washington Post Book World.

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Editorial Reviews

New Republic

In the meticulousness of its research and the density of its arguments, [American Apartheid] stands well apart from even the best-argued and most amply documented books by journalists on racial problems.
— Nathan Glazer

Washington Post Book World

A major contribution to our understanding of both racism and poverty... One hopes that the book will be read, not only by other scholars and policy analysts, but by a broad spectrum of citizens and by all the leaders of the nation.
— Andrew Billingsley

Times Literary Supplement

Richly documented ... A splendid book. American Apartheid explores a topic that many of us have come to take for granted, presents a fascinating array of data that have never been assembled in one place and compellingly argues that segregation is crucial to understanding what has happened to [urban] blacks.
— Charles Murray

Contemporary Sociology

Essential reading for anyone interested in the causes, and possible cures, of urban poverty.
— Roberto M. Fernandez

Choice

An incredibly readable book that must be studied by all Americans-liberal and conservative, black and white.
— D. K. Jamieson

New Republic - Nathan Glazer
In the meticulousness of its research and the density of its arguments, [American Apartheid] stands well apart from even the best-argued and most amply documented books by journalists on racial problems.
Washington Post Book World - Andrew Billingsley
A major contribution to our understanding of both racism and poverty... One hopes that the book will be read, not only by other scholars and policy analysts, but by a broad spectrum of citizens and by all the leaders of the nation.
Times Literary Supplement - Charles Murray
Richly documented ... A splendid book. American Apartheid explores a topic that many of us have come to take for granted, presents a fascinating array of data that have never been assembled in one place and compellingly argues that segregation is crucial to understanding what has happened to [urban] blacks.
Contemporary Sociology - Roberto M. Fernandez
Essential reading for anyone interested in the causes, and possible cures, of urban poverty.
Choice - D. K. Jamieson
An incredibly readable book that must be studied by all Americans-liberal and conservative, black and white.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674018211
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 312
  • Sales rank: 277,722
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 9.32 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface

1. The Missing Link

2. The Construction of the Ghetto

3. The Persistence of the Ghetto

4. The Continuing Causes of Segregation

5. The Creation of Underclass Communities

6. The Perpetuation of the Underclass

7. The Failure of Public Policy

8. The Future of the Ghetto

Notes

Index

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