Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City: The Life and Times of an Urban Reformer

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $4.45
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 85%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $4.45   
  • New (2) from $18.38   
  • Used (7) from $4.45   

Overview

From his role as FDR's "negro advisor" to his appointment, under Lyndon Johnson, as the first secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Robert Clifton Weaver was one of the most influential domestic policy makers and civil rights advocates of the twentieth century. This volume, the first biography of the first African American to hold a cabinet position in the federal government, rescues from obscurity the story of a man whose legacy continues to impact American race relations and the cities in which they largely play out.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Nation

"One cannot read Pritchett's book without thinking of Barack Obama, whose career seems, in certain respects, a reflection of Weaver's ambiguous legacy. . . . The battered buildings of the housing projects of Chicago and Detroit that Weaver worked so long, with so much hope, to build, cast their long shadows on the pages of this book, bleak reminders that the triumph of an individual cannot alone make up for these larger defeats. The strength of Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City is that it enables the reader to see the victory and the loss at once."—Kim Phillips-Fein, Nation

— Kim Phillips-Fein

Journal of American History

"The author has created a good study that is important for understanding the history of housing and race relations in modern America and the challenges facing African Americans within the realm of governmental bureaucracy."

— Edward F. Haas

Choice

"[Pritchett] has added an interesting biography to the field of US race relations and domestic politics of the postwar era. . . . Pritchett reveals Weaver as a man who shaped history but was also its victim."
Publishers Weekly

Weaver (1907-1997), the first black cabinet secretary (Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1966-1968) has become "a marginal figure in our public discussion today," but "for almost half of the century," Pritchett asserts, Weaver "shaped the development of American racial and urban policy." Pritchett follows Weaver from the Roosevelt to the Johnson administrations, guiding the reader safely through the mine field of acronymic government agencies, various foundations and academic institutions (he was the first president of Baruch College) in which Weaver played a role. Weaver's targets were racially restrictive covenants and the entrenchment of segregation in both public housing policy and government supported loans; compromises involving the latter made him a controversial figure as the civil rights movement burgeoned. Pritchett's biography is an exhaustive but well-paced account of a life more absorbed by political process and research than by social or political drama. Yet, as Pritchett shows, Weaver "was instrumental in the implementation of every major urban initiative, including public housing, urban renewal, affirmative action, rent control, and fair housing." (Oct.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
William Julius Wilson

“Wendell E. Pritchett’s engaging biography of Robert Clifton Weaver is a tour de force.  Appointed by President Johnson as the first secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Weaver was the first African American to hold a cabinet position.  However, few Americans are aware that Weaver was also an important figure in shaping the development of American racial and urban policy, and one of the nation’s foremost authorities on urban issues. Pritchett brilliantly captures the life and contributions of this great racial pioneer and in the process reveals how racial tensions profoundly influenced battles over the future of American cities.”
Arnold R. Hirsch

“We need to know the story of Robert Clifton Weaver, and to know more about the period between the Harlem Renaissance and the 1960s, a period for which African American history has not been explored with quite the same fervor as other periods. This important and accessible biography sheds light on these overlooked subjects and pays a previously unrecognized historical debt.”
Lizabeth Cohen

“Wendell Pritchett’s fascinating book delivers just what any reader wants in a good historical biography. Robert Weaver emerges as a complex, talented man caught in the contradiction between seeking a race-blind world and serving his race. And his personal struggles and achievements bring to light in a compelling way the shifting terrain of federal governmental authority, urban policy, and civil rights over the course of the twentieth century. This is a wonderful portrait of a man and, through that man, of dreams won and lost for a new, more equitable urban America.”
Journal of American History - Edward F. Haas

"The author has created a good study that is important for understanding the history of housing and race relations in modern America and the challenges facing African Americans within the realm of governmental bureaucracy."
Nation - Kim Phillips-Fein

"One cannot read Pritchett's book without thinking of Barack Obama, whose career seems, in certain respects, a reflection of Weaver's ambiguous legacy. . . . The battered buildings of the housing projects of Chicago and Detroit that Weaver worked so long, with so much hope, to build, cast their long shadows on the pages of this book, bleak reminders that the triumph of an individual cannot alone make up for these larger defeats. The strength of Robert Clifton Weaver and the American City is that it enables the reader to see the victory and the loss at once."
Choice

"[Pritchett] has added an interesting biography to the field of US race relations and domestic politics of the postwar era. . . . Pritchett reveals Weaver as a man who shaped history but was also its victim."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226684482
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 444
  • Sales rank: 1,449,490
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Wendell E. Pritchett is a presidential term professor at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of BrownsvilleBrooklyn: Blacks, Jews, and the Changing Face of the Ghetto, also published by the University of Chicago Press.
 

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Preparing the Talented Tenth: The Weaver Family and the Black Elite 8

2 Fighting for a Better Deal 31

3 A Liberal Experiment: Race and Housing in the New Deal 53

4 Creating a New Order: Black Politics in the New Deal Era 66

5 World War II and Black Labor 88

6 Chicago and the Science of Race Relations 116

7 Searching for a Place to Call Home 135

8 New York City and the Institutions of Liberal Reform 151

9 The First Cabinet Job 171

10 The Path to Power 193

11 The Kennedy Years: A Reluctant New Frontier 211

12 Fighting for Civil Rights from the Inside 233

13 The Great Society and the City 246

14 HUD, Robert Weaver, and the Ambiguities of Race 262

15 Power and Its Limitations 279

16 The Great Society, High and Low 301

17 An Elder Statesman in a Period of Turmoil 325

Abbreviations Used in Notes 353

Figure Credits 419

Index 421

Illustrations follow page 210

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)