The New American Ghetto

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Overview

The New American Ghetto provides an exploration, over nearly two decades, of ghettos in New York, Newark, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, and smaller cities. Camilo Jose Vergara chronicles, through photographs and text, the profound transformations experienced by these places since the riots of the 1960s. He provides direct observations of urban landscapes and interiors, from residential areas and institutions to vacant lots and abandoned factories. He takes successive photographs of the same places, tracking change over time - changes that have made the conditions of today's ghettos very different from those of an earlier era. Vergara's interviews with residents and historical research contribute to his unique view of the nature and meaning of the inner city. Termed "a photographic forecast of the demise of urban America," The New American Ghetto brings to light a world of forgotten ruin and struggling reconstruction.
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Editorial Reviews

Chicago Tribune
Singularly unforgettable photography.
New York Times Book Review
A national photographic family album of loss... Vergara has a sharp eye for the human hand.
Washington Post
In this significant body of work. Vergara has refresed the... genre of documentary photography.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vergara has chronicled life in poor and minority communities across the United States in the New York Times, Atlantic, the Nation, the Village Voice, and other publications. Following in the footsteps of 19th-century urban reformer Jacob Riis, the author, through the power of photography, reveals the destitution and vulgarities of urban decay. Chicago; Newark, New Jersey; New York; Detroit; Los Angeles; and several other cities are the backdrops for his 400 photographs. Vergara focuses on the physical environment, showing the transformation of particular sites over time. His tour of dilapidated neighborhoods and crumbling downtowns is visually startling. Vergara lays bare the direction of a new urbanness that strips the grandeur from its fabric and lays waste to the cityscape, pointing out that while we have wasted cities, many of the ruins are magnificent. An invaluable resource for urban studies and architecture collections.-Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Lib., Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813523316
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 10.91 (w) x 9.71 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 1
2 The Ghetto Cityscape 13
3 Housing 41
4 Commerce and Industry 79
5 Our Fortified Ghettos 101
6 We Are Here 125
7 The Impact of Addictions and Homelessness 161
8 Ghettos Transformed 181
9 Conclusion: No Solution in Sight 199
Appendix: The New American Ghetto Archive 227
Bibliography 231
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