American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto by Sudhir Venkatesh, William Julius Wilson

By Sudhir Venkatesh, William Julius Wilson

High-rise public housing advancements have been signature good points of the post–World battle II urban. A hopeful scan in delivering transitority, reasonably cheap housing for all american citizens, the "projects" quickly turned synonymous with the black city bad, with isolation and overcrowding, with medicines, gang violence, and forget. because the wrecking ball brings down a few of these concrete monoliths, Sudhir Venkatesh seeks to reexamine public housing from the interior out, and to salvage its afflicted legacy. in line with approximately a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor houses, American venture is the 1st complete tale of lifestyle in an American public housing advanced. Venkatesh attracts on his relationships with tenants, gang participants, law enforcement officials, and native companies to supply an intimate portrait of an inner-city neighborhood that reporters and the general public have in basic terms seen from a distance. not easy the traditional concept of public housing as a failure, this startling e-book re-creates tenants' thirty-year attempt to construct a secure and safe local: their political battles for providers from an detached urban forms, their day-by-day war of words with entrenched poverty, their painful judgements approximately even if to paintings with or opposed to the road gangs whose drug dealing either sustained and imperiled their lives. American undertaking explores the elemental query of what makes a neighborhood doable. In his chronicle of tenants' political and private struggles to create an honest position to stay, Venkatesh brings us to the center of the topic. (20010114)

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Extra resources for American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto

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In the early 1960s, when tenants came to Robert Taylor, there was no self-evident or natural association Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College A P l a c e t o C a l l H o m e Η 3 9 Co py among those who lived in different parts of the housing development. ” Only by sharing common circumstances and challenges, and confronting similar representations in the media and popular discourse—most of which were negative—did the housing development create its own identities. Even then, tenants differentiated themselves in the more particular and personal terms of their speci~c _oor or building.

Right from the start, when the CHA wouldn’t pay [this part of the housing development] no attention, Ms. Walton made sure that we’d had gardens, our lobbies ain’t had no piss all over them, we’d had our trash picked up, our apartments was real nice . . so, no, I don’t have no complaints about raising my family in Taylor. But maybe that’s because I did it in this building and not in some of the others [close by]. Other tenants echo Paulina’s observations but make a distinction between the power of the members of the Building Council and that of Copyright © 2000 The President and Fellows of Harvard College A P l a c e t o C a l l H o m e Η 3 7 Co py its progeny, the Local Advisory Council.

Most important, tenants’ ties to particular areas in the housing development were the product of their interaction with government agencies, from whom they received most of their resources and services. These interactions were sometimes marked by contention and differences of viewpoint, and over the course of the 1960s, tenants’ own vision of what makes for a safe, viable community would grow apart from that of managing agencies. They expressed their differences most often through the council of~cers in Ex a their buildings.

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