Front Cover
Harvard University Press, 2000 - Social Science - 332 pages
23 Reviews
High-rise public housing developments were signature features of the post-World War II city. A hopeful experiment in providing temporary, inexpensive housing for all Americans, the "projects" soon became synonymous with the black urban poor, with isolation and overcrowding, with drugs, gang violence, and neglect. As the wrecking ball brings down some of these concrete monoliths, Sudhir Venkatesh seeks to reexamine public housing from the inside out, and to salvage its troubled legacy.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto

User Review  - Jeramey - Goodreads

Interesting look into the culture of the Robert Taylor Homes. I struggled with reading the book at times because the chapters just flow one into the other. It also felt at times like I was reading the ... Read full review

Review: American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto

User Review  - Eric - Goodreads

An important work of ethnography, American Project is both a history of how and why the Robert Taylor Homes came to be, how the choices made from the very beginning doomed the viability of the program ... Read full review


A Place to Call Home
Doing the Hustle
Whats It Like to Be in Hell?
Tenants Face Off with the Gang
StreetGang Diplomacy
The Beginning of the End of a Modern Ghetto
Authors Note

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 10 - He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.
Page x - AfricanAmericans from the rural South to the cities of the Northeast and Midwest. Since smaller suburban communities refused to permit the construction of public housing, the units were overwhelmingly concentrated in the overcrowded and deteriorating inner-city ghettos — the poorest and least socially organized sections of the city and the metropolitan area.
Page x - This growing population of politically weak urban poor was unable to counteract the desires of vocal middle- and working-class whites for segregated housing," housing that would keep blacks out of white neighborhoods. In short, public housing represents a federally funded institution that has isolated families by race and class for decades, and has therefore contributed to the growing concentration...

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information