Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D. C.

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As the only American city under direct congressional control, Washington has served historically as a testing ground for federal policy initiatives and social experiments?with decidedly mixed results. Well-intentioned efforts to introduce measures of social justice for the district's largely black population have failed. Yet federal plans and federal money have successfully created a large federal presence?a triumph, argues Howard Gillette, of beauty over justice. In a new afterword, Gillette addresses the recent...

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Overview

As the only American city under direct congressional control, Washington has served historically as a testing ground for federal policy initiatives and social experiments—with decidedly mixed results. Well-intentioned efforts to introduce measures of social justice for the district's largely black population have failed. Yet federal plans and federal money have successfully created a large federal presence—a triumph, argues Howard Gillette, of beauty over justice. In a new afterword, Gillette addresses the recent revitalization and the aftereffects of an urban sports arena.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Among responsibilities that the national government should return to the states, says Gillette (American civilization and history, George Washington U.) is the administration of the capital city. He demonstrates that two centuries of direct implementation of national social policy has resulted in a city of exquisite monuments and a population of impoverished and powerless blacks: beauty triumphing over justice. He includes an analysis of Marion Barry's efforts to improve the situation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From the Publisher
"A superb piece of urban and planning history."—American Historical Review

"Sets a new standard for effectively placing planning issues in their larger social and political context."—Planning Perspectives

"Howard Gillette is our leading expert on the politics of planning for Washington, DC. . . . Between Justice and Beauty is the best introduction to the political choices that have shaped our national city."—American Planning Association Journal

"Between Justice and Beauty is written for readers who do not necessarily have a deep interest in Washington, although the wealth of detailed historical information contained in its pages will provide plenty for a student of the city to digest. The historical narrative provides insight into the development of the city and could be used as a case study text in a graduate seminar in urban planning or geography."—Urban Geography

"Gillette's clear focus on government gives thematic coherence to his insightful and engaging history, highlighting matters of physical development such as slum clearance, public housing construction, urban renewal, commercial development, transportation, and the planning of the monumental core."—Journal of Urban History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801850691
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/1972
  • Series: Modern Fiction Studies
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.33 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Gillette, Jr. is Professor of History at Rutgers University and the author of Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface and Acknowledgments
I Locus of the New Republic
1 City of Failed Intentions 5
2 The Specter of Race 27
II Seat of American Empire
3 Reconstruction: Social and Physical 49
4 Making a Greater Washington 69
5 The New Washington: City Beautiful 88
6 Reform: Social and Aesthetic 109
III The City and the Modern State
7 A New Deal for Washington 135
8 Redevelopment and Dissent 151
9 Renewal, Reconstruction, and Retrenchment 170
10 The Limits of Social Protest Politics 190
Conclusion 208
Note on Sources 215
Notes 223
Index 289
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