AMERICAN PROJECT

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Harvard University Press, 2002 - Social Science - 332 pages
36 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.
 

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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

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

User Review  - Goodreads

While I thought it dry at times, and not nearly as fast a read as "Gang Leader For A Day" by the same author, this was a fascinatingly well researched book that really looked at the state of affairs ... Read full review

All 19 reviews »

Contents

A Place to Call Home
13
Doing the Hustle
65
Whats It Like to Be in Hell?
110
Tenants Face Off with the Gang
153
StreetGang Diplomacy
191
The Beginning of the End of a Modern Ghetto
238
Authors Note
281
Notes
289
Acknowledgments
319
Index
321
Copyright

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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...

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About the author (2002)

Sudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology at Columbia University in the City of New York. He is a researcher and writer on urban neighborhoods in the United States (New York, Chicago) and Paris, France. He is also a documentary film-maker. His most recent book is Gang Leader for a Day. In 2006 he also published Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor about illegal economies in Chicago. Off the Books received a Best Book Award from Slate.Com (2006) as well as the C. Wright Mills Award (2007). His first book, American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto (2000) explored life in Chicago public housing. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago. He was a Junior Fellow at the Society of Fellows, Harvard University from 1996-1999. He is currently Director of the Center for Urban Research and Policy, and Director of the Charles H. Revson Fellowship Program, both at Columbia University.

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