Through intense clashes over funds and programming, Washington residents pushed for greater participatory democracy and community control. However, the anticrime apparatus built by the Johnson and Nixon administrations curbed efforts to achieve true home rule. As Pearlman reveals, this conflict laid the foundation for the next fifty years of D.C. governance, connecting issues of civil rights, law and order, and urban renewal.
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Democracy's Capital marks a critical contribution to the growing field of carceral studies and gets us closer to understanding the origins of draconian crime-control policies and modern surveillance. Taking into account a range of different perspectivesfrom grassroots activists and high policy makers to municipal officials and social workersPearlman's rich and layered history of Washington, D.C., illuminates the interplay between calls for 'law and order' and demands for civil rights and economic justice. In doing so, the book offers readers a profound comment on the contours of American democracy in the late twentieth century.Elizabeth Hinton, author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America
A must-read for students of modern black politics and mass incarceration. Pearlman illuminates the complicated ways that local and national white power brokers used the wars on poverty and crime to limit the radical possibilities of Black Power activism in the nation's preeminent chocolate city.George Derek Musgrove, co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation's Capital
Deeply researched and engagingly written, this book convincingly portrays D.C. as a compelling illustration of federal experimentation, white recalcitrance to the freedom struggle, and the complexity of grassroots responses to such politics.Gordon K. Mantler, George Washington University