American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto

American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto

by Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh
     
 

ISBN-10: 0674003217

ISBN-13: 9780674003217

Pub. Date: 09/01/1900

Publisher: Harvard University Press

High-rise public housing developments were signature features of the postÐWorld War II city. A hopeful experiment in providing temporary, inexpensive housing for all Americans, the "projects" soon became synonymous with the black urban poor, with isolation and overcrowding, with drugs, gang violence, and neglect. As the wrecking ball brings down some of these concrete…  See more details below

Overview

High-rise public housing developments were signature features of the postÐWorld War II city. A hopeful experiment in providing temporary, inexpensive housing for all Americans, the "projects" soon became synonymous with the black urban poor, with isolation and overcrowding, with drugs, gang violence, and neglect. As the wrecking ball brings down some of these concrete monoliths, Sudhir Venkatesh seeks to reexamine public housing from the inside out, and to salvage its troubled legacy. Based on nearly a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes, American Project is the first comprehensive story of daily life in an American public housing complex. Venkatesh draws on his relationships with tenants, gang members, police officers, and local organizations to offer an intimate portrait of an inner-city community that journalists and the public have only viewed from a distance. Challenging the conventional notion of public housing as a failure, this startling book re-creates tenants' thirty-year effort to build a safe and secure neighborhood: their political battles for services from an indifferent city bureaucracy, their daily confrontation with entrenched poverty, their painful decisions about whether to work with or against the street gangs whose drug dealing both sustained and imperiled their lives. American Project explores the fundamental question of what makes a community viable. In his chronicle of tenants' political and personal struggles to create a decent place to live, Venkatesh brings us to the heart of the matter.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674003217
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
09/01/1900
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.44(w) x 9.54(h) x 1.17(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Preface Introduction 1. A Place to Call Home 2. Doing the Hustle 3. "What's It Like to Be in Hell?" 4. Tenants Face Off with the Gang 5. Street-Gang Diplomacy 6. The Beginning of the End of a Modern Ghetto Author's Note Notes Acknowledgments Index

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