The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power

The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal about Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power

by Deirdre Mask

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Overview

Notes From Your Bookseller

The numbers on a house, a building, an apartment — if we don't need to know them, we hardly notice. But they do matter, and matter in ways far more complex than letter delivery and geolocation. Addresses tell stories of identity, caste, race, wealth and the shifts of power throughout human time. The Address Book is thoughtful and whimsical, startling and absorbing, a completely original historical tour and wholly entertaining.

Finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction | One of Time Magazines's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020 | Longlisted for the 2020 Porchlight Business Book Awards

"An entertaining quest to trace the origins and implications of the names of the roads on which we reside." —Sarah Vowell, The New York Times Book Review

When most people think about street addresses, if they think of them at all, it is in their capacity to ensure that the postman can deliver mail or a traveler won’t get lost. But street addresses were not invented to help you find your way; they were created to find you. In many parts of the world, your address can reveal your race and class.

In this wide-ranging and remarkable book, Deirdre Mask looks at the fate of streets named after Martin Luther King Jr., the wayfinding means of ancient Romans, and how Nazis haunt the streets of modern Germany. The flipside of having an address is not having one, and we also see what that means for millions of people today, including those who live in the slums of Kolkata and on the streets of London. Filled with fascinating people and histories, The Address Book illuminates the complex and sometimes hidden stories behind street names and their power to name, to hide, to decide who counts, who doesn’t—and why.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250134783
Publisher: St. Martin's Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/14/2020
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 22,560
File size: 15 MB
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About the Author

Deirdre Mask graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, and attended University of Oxford before returning to Harvard for law school, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. She completed a master’s in writing at the National University of Ireland.

The author of The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power, Deirdre's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Originally from North Carolina, she has taught at Harvard and the London School of Economics. She lives with her husband and daughters in London.


Deirdre Mask graduated from Harvard College summa cum laude, and attended University of Oxford before returning to Harvard for law school, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. She completed a master’s in writing at the National University of Ireland.

The author of The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power, Deirdre's writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. Originally from North Carolina, she has taught at Harvard and the London School of Economics. She lives with her husband and daughters in London.

Table of Contents

Introduction: West Virginia: Why Should We Care About Street Addresses?


DEVELOPMENT
1. Kolkata: Could Addresses Revolutionize the Slums?
2. Haiti: Could Street Addresses Stop a Plague?

ORIGINS
3. Rome: How Did The Ancient Romans Find Their Way Around?
4. London: Where Do Our Street Names Come From?
5. Vienna: Did House Numbering Change the World?
6. Philadelphia: Why Do Americans Love Numbered Streets?
7. Korea and Japan: Does Language Explain Japan’s Lack of Street Names?

POLITICS
8. Iran: Why Do Street Names Follow Revolutions?
9. Berlin: What Do Nazi Street Names Tell Us About Vergangenheitsbewältigung?

RACE
10. Hollywood, Florida: Are Confederate Names Really About History?
11. St. Louis: What Can Martin Luther King Streets Tell Us About Race in America Today?
12. South Africa: What Should Happen to Apartheid Streets?

CLASS AND STATUS
13. Manhattan: How Much Is a Street Name Worth?
14. Homelessness: How Do You Live Without an Address?
15. Chicago: Does Everyone Deserve an Address?

Conclusion: The Future: Are Street Addresses Doomed?


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
NOTES
INDEX

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