Read American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto by Sudhir Venkatesh Free Online
Book Title: American Project: The Rise and Fall of a Modern Ghetto|
The size of the: 18.71 MB
Edition: Harvard University Press
Date of issue: April 15th 2002
ISBN 13: 9780674008304
The author of the book: Sudhir Venkatesh
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books: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. Based on nearly a decade of fieldwork in Chicago's Robert Taylor Homes, "American Project" is the first comprehensive story of daily life in an American public housing complex.
Venkatesh draws on his relationships with tenants, gang members, police officers, and local organizations to offer an intimate portrait of an inner-city community that journalists and the public have only viewed from a distance. Challenging the conventional notion of public housing as a failure, this startling book re-creates tenants' thirty-year effort to build a safe and secure neighborhood: their political battles for services from an indifferent city bureaucracy, their daily confrontation with entrenched poverty, their painful decisions about whether to work with or against the street gangs whose drug dealing both sustained and imperiled their lives.
"American Project" explores the fundamental question of what makes a community viable. In his chronicle of tenants' political and personal struggles to create a decent place to live, Venkatesh brings us to the heart of the matter."
Read information about the authorSudhir Venkatesh is William B. Ransford Professor of Sociology, and the Committee on Global Thought, at Columbia University in the City of New York.
His most recent book is Gang Leader for a Day (Penguin Press). Gang Leader received a Best Book award from The Economist, and is currently being translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, Italian, Polish, French and Portuguese. His previous work, Off the Books: The Underground Economy of the Urban Poor (Harvard University Press, 2006) about illegal economies in Chicago, 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.
Venkatesh’ editorial writings have appeared in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and the Washington Post. He writes for Slate.com, and his stories have appeared in This American Life, WIRED, and on National Public Radio. His next book, under contract with Penguin Press, will focus on the role of black market economies—from sex work and drug trafficking to day care and entertainment—in the revitalization of New York since 1999.
Venkatesh is completing an ethnographic study of policing in the Department of Justice, where he served as a Senior Research Advisor from 2010-2011.
Venkatesh’s first documentary film, Dislocation, followed families as they relocated from condemned public housing developments. The documentary aired on PBS in 2005. He directed and produced a three-part award winning documentary on the history of public housing for public radio. And, he recently completed At the Top of My Voice, a documentary film on a scholar and artist who return to the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia to promote democracy and safeguard human rights.
Venkatesh 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, and an NSF CAREER award recipient in 2000. He holds a visiting appointment in Columbia University’s Law School and he is a voting member of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies.
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