Polluted Promises

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Overview

ulian Steward Award 2006 Runner-Up!

In this highly readable account . . . Checker has written a fine book. Assigned to students interested in urbanism, science and technology studies, race relations in the United States, environment, or social movements, the book is sure to spark thoughtful conversation.
-American Anthropologist

Melissa Checker's absorbing story is a portrait of America. Polluted Promises showcases the complex links between toxic waste and race, and the hope-filled journeys of environmental activists who are wise, strong, and spiritual in their fight against toxic waste--and for their lives. Checker is doing public anthropology for social justice.
-Carol Stack, author of All Our Kin

I hope that (this book) doesn't get pidgeonholed as a dry, academic treatise, because it is anything but that. It is a wonderfully written account of the struggles by the residents of Hyde Park, a neighborhood in Augusta, Georgia, to undo decades of...environmental racism.
-In Brief

A very rich, organized, and theoretically interesting ethnographic case study of environmental activism. Checker beautifully recounts how the issues of race emerged and were manipulated in social organizing against environmental poisoning.
-George E. Marcus, author of Ethnography through Thick and Thin

Polluted Promises is a substantial accomplishment. It grounds the notion of environmental justice wonderfully in practical terms, in the theoretically sophisticated and empathetic examination of Hyde Park.
-Adolph Reed, Jr., author of Class Notes: Posing As Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene

A sweeping and brilliant account of a struggle for environmental justice. With clarity and honesty, Checker adroitly exploits the interconnection of race, environment, and civil rights. This is an authoritative and courageous book that should be essential reading for everyone interested in environmental justice.
-Bunyan Bryant, editor of Environmental Justice: Issues, Policies, and Solutions

Over the past two decades, environmental racism has become the rallying cry for many communities as they discover the contaminations of toxic chemicals and industrial waste in their own backyards.

Living next door to factories and industrial sites for years, the people in these communities often have record health problems and debilitating medical conditions. Melissa Checker tells the story of one such neighborhood, Hyde Park, in Augusta, Georgia, and the tenacious activism of its two hundred African American families. This community, at one time surrounded by nine polluting industries, is struggling to make their voices heard and their community safe again.

Polluted Promises shows that even in the post-civil rights era, race and class are still key factors in determining the politics of pollution.

Melissa Checker teaches in the Department of Urban Studies, Queens College/CUNY. She is co-editor of Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life. She is donating all of her proceeds from this book to the Hyde and Aragon Park Improvement Committee.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“In this highly readable account . . . Checker has written a fine book. Assigned to students interested in urbanism, science and technology studies, race relations in the United States, environment, or social movements, the book is sure to spark thoughtful conversation.”
-American Anthropologist

,

“Melissa Checker's absorbing story is a portrait of America. Polluted Promises showcases the complex links between toxic waste and race, and the hope-filled journeys of environmental activists who are wise, strong, and spiritual in their fight against toxic waste—and for their lives. Checker is doing public anthropology for social justice.”
-Carol Stack,author of All Our Kin

“I hope that (this book) doesn't get pidgeonholed as a dry, academic treatise, because it is anything but that. It is a wonderfully written account of the struggles by the residents of Hyde Park, a neighborhood in Augusta, Georgia, to undo decades of...environmental racism.”
-In Brief

,

“A very rich, organized, and theoretically interesting ethnographic case study of environmental activism. Checker beautifully recounts how the issues of race emerged and were manipulated in social organizing against environmental poisoning.”
-George E. Marcus,author of Ethnography through Thick and Thin

Polluted Promises is a substantial accomplishment. It grounds the notion of environmental justice wonderfully in practical terms, in the theoretically sophisticated and empathetic examination of Hyde Park.”
-Adolph Reed, Jr.,author of Class Notes: Posing As Politics and Other Thoughts on the American Scene

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814716571
  • Publisher: New York University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2005
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 0.81 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Melissa Checker teaches in the Department of Urban Studies, Queens College/CUNY. She is co-editor of Local Actions: Cultural Activism, Power, and Public Life. She is donating all of her proceeds from this book to the Hyde and Aragon Park Improvement Committee.

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Table of Contents

1 You can run, but you can't Hyde 1
2 Race-ing the environment 13
3 Old heads 35
In between the tracks 39
4 Strange fruit 69
From promised land to poisoned land 74
5 Foot soldiers 104
Long is the struggle, hard is the fight 107
6 Staying on board 148
Crossing murky waters 152
7 No progress without struggle 181
App. A Methods 191
App. B Getting involved 201
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