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Journal of American History
Professor Lawrence J. Vale offers a detailed and multilayered analysis of the history of the three Boston public housing projects — West Broadway, Franklin Field, and Commonwealth. This interdisciplinary study not only relies on traditional archival sources such as the Boston Housing Authority Records and the John F. Collins Papers but uses more than three hundred interviews with public housing residents
Vale effectively uses the history of all three projects to prescribe actions to salvage the large-scale public housing. The book, which should be added to the short list of must-read studies of public housing, is persuasively argued, clearly written, and effectively argued. Its findings have significance far beyond Boston
The larger lessons given by this excellent study have relevance to scholars, officials, and activists committed to salvaging public housing.
— Robert B. Fairbanks