Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America / Edition 1

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2004 Hardcover Good Connecting readers with great books since 1972. Used books may not include companion materials, some shelf wear, may contain highlighting/notes, and may not ... include cd-rom or access codes. Customer service is our top priority! Read more Show Less

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New York, NY 2004 Hard cover Good. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 304 p. Contains: Illustrations, black & white.

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Near-new condition. NO remainder marks or price clippings. Tight spine, clean pages. 285 pages. Illustrated. NO writing, marks or tears inside book. During the first half ... of the twentieth century, Atlantic City was the nation's most popular middle-class resort--the home of the famed Boardwalk, the Miss America Pageant, and the board game Monopoly. By the late 1960s, it had become a symbol of urban decay and blight, compared by journalists to bombed-out Dresden and war-torn Beirut. Several decades and a dozen casinos later, Atlantic City is again one of America's most popular tourist spots, with thirty-five million visitors a year. Yet most stay for a mere six hours, and the highway has replaced the Boardwalk as the city's most important thoroughfare. Today the city doesn't have a single movie theater and its one supermarket is a virtual fortress protected by metal detectors and security guards. In this wide-ranging book, Bryant Simon does far more than tell a nostalgic tale of Atlantic City's rise, near death, and reincarnation. He turns the depiction of middle-class vacationers into a revealing discussion of the boundaries of public space in urban America. In the past, he argues, the public was never really about democracy, but about exclusion. During Atlantic City's heyday, African Americans were kept off the Boardwalk and away from the beaches. The overly boisterous or improperly dressed were kept out of theaters and hotel lobbies by uniformed ushers and police. The creation of Atlantic City as the "Nation's Playground" was dependent on keeping undesirables out of view unless they were pushing tourists down the Boardwalk on rickshaw-like rolling chairs or shimmying in smoky nightclubs. Desegregation overturned this racial balance in the mid-1960s, making the city's public spaces more open and democratic, too open and democratic for many middle-class Americans, who fled to suburbs and suburban-style resorts like Disneyworld. With the opening of the first casino in 1978, the urban balance once again shif Read more Show Less

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NEW YORK 2004 HARDBACK BLUE AS NEW. JACKET: VERY GOOD DJ 6 1/4 X 9 1/4. Atlantic City; Atlantic City (N.J. ); City and town life; History; History-General History; History: ... American; Middle class; New Jersey; Social conditions; United States-20th Century; United States-State & Local-General; American history; USA. Pictorial dust jacket. Black and white photographs. _PAB_ Read more Show Less

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2004-07-29 Hardcover Good Good Condition item. We strive to provide the best shopping experience with every item we sell. Satisfaction guaranteed! ! Ships from US. Please allow ... 1-3 weeks for delivery outside US. Read more Show Less

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USA 2004 Hard cover First edition. 1st priting with full number line. New in new dust jacket. Ships today from the USA! Free USPS Delivery Confirmation. Perfect $45 book now ... over 75%off retail! Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 304 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A. 2004 Hard Cover Very Good in Very Good jacket This is a clean bright copy with a sound binding.

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Oxford, U. K 2004 Hardcover Very Good in Very Good jacket Fine copy in fine DJ. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a ... return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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NEW YORK 2004 HARDBACK BLUE VERY GOOD. JACKET: GOOD DJ 6 1/4 X 9 1/4. Pictorial dust jacket: mild wear, rubs a few soil marks. Boards: light wear. Interior: black and white ... photographs. Dust jacket excerpt, "In this wide-ranging book, Bryant Simon does fare more than tell a nostalgic tale of Atlantic City's rise, near death, and reincarnation. He turns the depiction of middle-class vacationers into a revealing discussion of the boundaries of public space in urban America." _PAB_ Read more Show Less

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Overview

"During the first half of the twentieth century, Atlantic City was the nation's most popular middle-class resort - the home of the famed Boardwalk, the Miss America Pageant, and the board game Monopoly. By the late 1960s, it had become a symbol of urban decay and blight, compared by journalists to bombed-out Dresden and war-torn Beirut. Several decades and a dozen casinos later, Atlantic City is again one of America's most popular tourist spots, with thirty-five million visitors a year. Yet most stay for a mere six hours, and the highway has replaced the Boardwalk as the city's most important thoroughfare. Today the city doesn't have a single movie theater, and its one supermarket is a virtual fortress protected by metal detectors and security guards." "In this book, Bryant Simon does far more than tell a nostalgic tale of Atlantic City's rise, near death, and reincarnation. He turns the depiction of middle-class vacationers into a discussion of the boundaries of public space in urban America. In the past, he argues, the public was never really about democracy, but about exclusion. During Atlantic City's heyday, African Americans were kept off the Boardwalk and away from the beaches. The overly boisterous or improperly dressed were kept out of theaters and hotel lobbies by uniformed ushers and police. The creation of Atlantic City as the "Nation's Playground" was dependent on keeping undesirables out of view unless they were pushing tourists down the Boardwalk on rickshaw-like rolling chairs or shimmying in smoky nightclubs." "Desegregation overturned this racial balance in the mid-1960s, making the city's public spaces more open and democratic, too open and democratic for many middle-class Americans, who fled to suburbs and suburban-style resorts like Disneyworld. With the opening of the first casino in 1978, the urban balance once again shifted, creating twelve separate, heavily guarded, glittering casino worlds walled off from the dilapidated houses, boarded
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Leslie Kaufman
… Bryant Simon, a professor of history at Temple University, uses the mistakes of the urban past in''Boardwalk of Dreams: Atlantic City and the Fate of Urban America'' to present a cautionary tale about Atlantic City's rise, fall and rebirth, told through the prism of race relations … Even while lamenting Atlantic City's garish past, Simon lovingly resurrects it.
— The New York Times
From the Publisher

"Perhaps the finest book ever written about Atlantic City, an....incisive history of the tension between the "resort" and the less-glitzy urban reality tourists rush past."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A gifted writer as well as a clear-eyed historian, Simon moves effortlessly in Boardwalk of Dreams between the fantasies that Atlantic City sold and the social, economic and political worlds that underlay them. The result is a lively, evocative, eminently readable book that looks beyond the Jersey beach town to the inner pulse of urban America."--The Chicago Tribune

"Professor Bryant is onto something here, and it is refreshing....a sober look at urban degeneration and regeneration against the backdrop of a changing nation enjoying its post-World War II prosperity, and a burgeoning middle class eager to parade its riches on the Boardwalk."-- The New York Times

"Simon's love for the city and its history is clear...[he] masterfully recreates [a] lost world full of music, whimsy, culture, and style." -- Times-Picayune

"For historians interested in the intersection of race and class in the 20th century, this work is a must read."--CHOICE

"This enviably sparkling book is more a work of the scholarly journalist than the typical fare of academic urban history.... Simon's themes are presented in a model of narrative detail and memorable images."--Journal of Social History

"Boardwalk of Dreams is passionately argued, and Simon writes of his own personal connection to Atlantic City with sincerity but not sentimentality.... This is a very entertaining read, a fact which may distract readers from Simon's serious call to rethink the city's past."--Urban History Review

"For historians interested in the intersection of race and class in the 20th century, this work is a must read."--CHOICE

"Simon has added a somewhat grandiose subtitle to his book on Atlantic City, New Jersey, thus declaring his intention not only to narrate the story of this famous site but also to make it a metaphor for the U.S. urban crisis of the twentieth century. Simon actually succeeds quite well in making this case. This is a very fine book. The prose is excellent, the thesis is clear, and the evidence is well marshaled." --American Historical Review

"...a fascinating and well-written book chockfull of detail." --Journal of Popular Culture

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195167535
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 7/29/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Bryant Simon has taught at the University of Georgia and is now Professor of History at Temple University. He is the author of A Fabric of Defeat: The Politics of South Carolina Millhands, 1910-1948 and co-editor of 'Jumpin Jim Crow': Southern Politics from Civil War to Civil Rights. He grew up in southern New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

1 Staging Utopia on the boardwalk 19
2 The midway 45
3 Mapping Atlantic City 63
4 The last picture shows 83
5 Narrating decline and erasing race 103
6 Rebuilding the crowd 132
7 Life in the dying city 153
8 Disneyland and the devil's bargain 171
9 Casino publics 194
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