Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American city

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Overview

Baltimore is the setting for (and typifies) one of the most penetrating examinations of bigotry and residential segregation ever published in the United States. Antero Pietila shows how continued discrimination practices toward African Americans and Jews have shaped the cities in which we now live. Eugenics, racial thinking, and white supremacist attitudes influenced even the federal government's actions toward housing in the 20th century, dooming American cities to ghettoization. This all-American tale is told ...

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Not in My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped a Great American city

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Overview

Baltimore is the setting for (and typifies) one of the most penetrating examinations of bigotry and residential segregation ever published in the United States. Antero Pietila shows how continued discrimination practices toward African Americans and Jews have shaped the cities in which we now live. Eugenics, racial thinking, and white supremacist attitudes influenced even the federal government's actions toward housing in the 20th century, dooming American cities to ghettoization. This all-American tale is told through the prism of Baltimore, from its early suburbanization in the 1880s to the consequences of "white flight" after World War II, and into the first decade of the twenty-first century. The events are real, and so are the heroes and villains. Mr. Pietila's engrossing story is an eye-opening journey into city blocks and neighborhoods, shady practices, and ruthless promoters.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Former Baltimore Sun reporter Pietila, who covered Baltimore neighborhoods and politics for 35 years, has produced an engrossing chronicle that emphasizes the links between racism, real estate practices, and urban politics. Indeed, the author argues they have been inseparable in Baltimore—and the nation. Pietila suggests that federal housing programs (1930s-60s) transformed the eugenics movement into national policy, and he significantly places realtors and developers at the very center of Baltimore politics. Most of the narrative focuses on the period 1910-68, although the author traces racial and real estate patterns back to the 1880s. The third section covers the 1960s and early 1970s....White versus black racism and black and white anti-Semitism are the main themes here, but Pietila's...account reveals class and religion added to already complex tensions. For instance, some Jewish developers would not rent or sell to Jewish families. Newspapers and personal interviews provide some colorful details. Secondary scholarship connects the Baltimore example to the national struggle over access to decent housing, driven by optimism, fear, and sometimes violence. Summing Up: Recommended.
Midwest Book Review
A sharply critical, exhaustively researched, and absolutely invaluable analysis, Not In My Neighborhood is the most important kind of history book-the history that must be studied so that its mistakes are not repeated (and so that solutions to difficult problems can be worked upon for the future)! Highly recommended.
Baltimore Brew
...Spellbinding....The scope of Pietila's research over the past 130 years is dazzling
— Jason Policastro
Baltimore Sun
With its sensitive subject, this groundbreaking book is a monumental effort.....Pietila hooks readers with anecdotes and arresting details.
— Diane Scharper
Washington Post
From suburbanization in the late 19th century to white flight after WWII and, more recently, the targeting of minorities with predatory sub-prime lending, the picture of Baltimore, once again, isn't pretty.
— Steven Levingston
Journal Of Planning Education And Research
Not in My Neighborhood offers a lively, informative portrayal of how real estated practices throughout the twentieth century contributed to the segregated cities we see today. In a brief epilogue, the author voices optimism that increasing demographic diversity in the United States will lead to a more integrated future.
CHOICE
Former Baltimore Sun reporter Pietila, who covered Baltimore neighborhoods and politics for 35 years, has produced an engrossing chronicle that emphasizes the links between racism, real estate practices, and urban politics. Indeed, the author argues they have been inseparable in Baltimore—and the nation. Pietila suggests that federal housing programs (1930s-60s) transformed the eugenics movement into national policy, and he significantly places realtors and developers at the very center of Baltimore politics. Most of the narrative focuses on the period 1910-68, although the author traces racial and real estate patterns back to the 1880s. The third section covers the 1960s and early 1970s....White versus black racism and black and white anti-Semitism are the main themes here, but Pietila's...account reveals class and religion added to already complex tensions. For instance, some Jewish developers would not rent or sell to Jewish families. Newspapers and personal interviews provide some colorful details. Secondary scholarship connects the Baltimore example to the national struggle over access to decent housing, driven by optimism, fear, and sometimes violence. Summing Up: Recommended.
Review Of Higher Education
From suburbanization in the late 19th century to white flight after WWII and, more recently, the targeting of minorities with predatory sub-prime lending, the picture of Baltimore, once again, isn't pretty.
— Steven Levingston
Journal of Planning Education And Research
Not in My Neighborhood offers a lively, informative portrayal of how real estated practices throughout the twentieth century contributed to the segregated cities we see today. In a brief epilogue, the author voices optimism that increasing demographic diversity in the United States will lead to a more integrated future.
Baltimore Brew - Jason Policastro
...Spellbinding....The scope of Pietila's research over the past 130 years is dazzling
Baltimore Sun - Diane Scharper
With its sensitive subject, this groundbreaking book is a monumental effort.....Pietila hooks readers with anecdotes and arresting details.
Review Of Higher Education - Steven Levingston
From suburbanization in the late 19th century to white flight after WWII and, more recently, the targeting of minorities with predatory sub-prime lending, the picture of Baltimore, once again, isn't pretty.
May 2010 Midwest Book Review
Not In My Neighborhood: How Bigotry Shaped A Great American City offers a powerful survey of a Baltimore issue that shaped a city's psyche when discrimination policies toward blacks and Jews shaped a world....Eye-opening and recommended for any college-level social issues collection.
December 2010 Baltimore City Paper
Antero Pietila’s sweeping and detailed portrait of Baltimore’s 20th-century blockbusters is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand how and why the city came to look the way it does today. Morris Goldseker, the mighty Jack Pollack, “Little Willie” Adams, James Rouse, Joseph Meyerhoff, and even civil rights legends such as Juanita Mitchell all played their part—and profited from—Baltimore’s racially rigged housing business. Clearly written, fast-paced, and filled with telling anecdotes, Not in My Neighborhood brings these players to vivid life, even if it merely nods to some of the larger, more impersonal forces that gave them their opportunities.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781566638432
  • Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
  • Publication date: 3/16/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 497,484
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Antero Pietila spent thirty-five years as a reporter with the Baltimore Sun, most of it covering the city's neighborhoods, politics, and government. A native of Finland, he became a student of racial change during his first visit to the United States in 1964. He lives in Baltimore.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2010

    A non-fiction page-turner

    Brilliant!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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