Author: Alex Kotlowitz
Release Date: 2011-11-30
Genre: Social Science
This is the moving and powerful account of two remarkable boys struggling to survive in Chicago's Henry Horner Homes, a public housing complex disfigured by crime and neglect. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Alex Kotlowitz
Release Date: 2012-01-04
Genre: Social Science
Bestselling author Alex Kotlowitz is one of this country's foremost writers on the ever explosive issue of race. In this gripping and ultimately profound book, Kotlowitz takes us to two towns in southern Michigan, St. Joseph and Benton Harbor, separated by the St. Joseph River. Geographically close, but worlds apart, they are a living metaphor for America's racial divisions: St. Joseph is a prosperous lakeshore community and ninety-five percent white, while Benton Harbor is impoverished and ninety-two percent black. When the body of a black teenaged boy from Benton Harbor is found in the river, unhealed wounds and suspicions between the two towns' populations surface as well. The investigation into the young man's death becomes, inevitably, a screen on which each town projects their resentments and fears. The Other Side of the River sensitively portrays the lives and hopes of the towns' citizens as they wrestle with this mystery--and reveals the attitudes and misperceptions that undermine race relations throughout America.
Author: D. Bradford Hunt
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Release Date: 2009-08-01
Genre: Social Science
Now considered a dysfunctional mess, Chicago’s public housing projects once had long waiting lists of would-be residents hoping to leave the slums behind. So what went wrong? To answer this complicated question, D. Bradford Hunt traces public housing’s history in Chicago from its New Deal roots through current mayor Richard M. Daley’s Plan for Transformation. In the process, he chronicles the Chicago Housing Authority’s own transformation from the city’s most progressive government agency to its largest slumlord. Challenging explanations that attribute the projects’ decline primarily to racial discrimination and real estate interests, Hunt argues that well-intentioned but misguided policy decisions—ranging from design choices to maintenance contracts—also paved the road to failure. Moreover, administrators who fully understood the potential drawbacks did not try to halt such deeply flawed projects as Cabrini-Green and the Robert Taylor Homes. These massive high-rise complexes housed unprecedented numbers of children but relatively few adults, engendering disorder that pushed out the working class and, consequently, the rents needed to maintain the buildings. The resulting combination of fiscal crisis, managerial incompetence, and social unrest plunged the CHA into a quagmire from which it is still struggling to emerge. Blueprint for Disaster, then,is an urgent reminder of the havoc poorly conceived policy can wreak on our most vulnerable citizens.
The acclaimed author of There Are No Children Here takes us into the heart of Chicago by introducing us to some of the city’s most interesting, if not always celebrated, people. Chicago is one of America’s most iconic, historic, and fascinating cities, as well as a major travel destination. For Alex Kotlowitz, an accidental Chicagoan, it is the perfect perch from which to peer into America’s heart. It’s a place, as one historian has said, of “messy vitalities,” a stew of contradictions: coarse yet gentle, idealistic yet restrained, grappling with its promise, alternately sure and unsure of itself. Chicago, like America, is a kind of refuge for outsiders. It’s probably why Alex Kotlowitz found comfort there. He’s drawn to people on the outside who are trying to clean up—or at least make sense of—the mess on the inside. Perspective doesn’t come easy if you’re standing in the center. As with There Are No Children Here, Never a City So Real is not so much a tour of a place as a chronicle of its soul, its lifeblood. It is a tour of the people of Chicago, who have been the author’s guides into this city’s—and in a broader sense, this country’s—heart. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jonathan Kozol
Publisher: Broadway Books
Release Date: 2011-06-01
Genre: Social Science
"Extraordinarily affecting....A very important book....To read and remember the stories in this book, to take them to heart, is to be called as a witness." THE BOSTON GLOBE There is no safety net for the millions of heartbroken refugees from the American Dream, scattered helplessly in any city you can name. RACHEL AND HER CHILDREN is an unforgettable record for humanity, of the desperate voices of the men, women, and especially children, and their hourly struggle for survival, homeless in America. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Kathryn Edin
Publisher: Univ of California Press
Release Date: 2013-06-01
Genre: Social Science
Across the political spectrum, unwed fatherhood is denounced as one of the leading social problems of today. Doing the Best I Can is a strikingly rich, paradigm-shifting look at fatherhood among inner-city men often dismissed as "deadbeat dads." Kathryn Edin and Timothy J. Nelson examine how couples in challenging straits come together and get pregnant so quickly—without planning. The authors chronicle the high hopes for forging lasting family bonds that pregnancy inspires, and pinpoint the fatal flaws that often lead to the relationship’s demise. They offer keen insight into a radical redefinition of family life where the father-child bond is central and parental ties are peripheral. Drawing on years of fieldwork, Doing the Best I Can shows how mammoth economic and cultural changes have transformed the meaning of fatherhood among the urban poor. Intimate interviews with more than 100 fathers make real the significant obstacles faced by low-income men at every step in the familial process: from the difficulties of romantic relationships, to decision-making dilemmas at conception, to the often celebratory moment of birth, and finally to the hardships that accompany the early years of the child's life, and beyond.
Author: James A. Morone
Publisher: Yale University Press
Release Date: 2004-07-01
Genre: Political Science
Annotation Although the US is proud of being a secular state, religion lies at the heart of American politics. This volume looks at how the country came to have the soul of a church & the consequences - the moral crusades against slavery, alcohol, witchcraft & discrimination that time & again have prevailed upon the nation.
"The church has always taught certain undeniable truths that can and should affect our society. But over the years, these teachings have been distorted, misunderstood, and forgotten. With the help of fourteen saints, it's time we reclaim Catholic social teaching and rediscover it through the lives of those who best lived it out. Follow in the saints' footsteps, learn from their example, and become the spark of authentic social justice that sets the world on fire." -- http://brandonvogt.com/saints-and-social-justice/, viewed July 2, 201
Author: Linda Perlstein
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2007-07-24
The pressure is on at schools across America. In recent years, reforms such as No Child Left Behind have created a new vision of education that emphasizes provable results, uniformity, and greater attention for floundering students. Schools are expected to behave more like businesses and judged almost solely on the bottom line: test scores. To see if this world is producing better students, Linda Perlstein immersed herself in a suburban Maryland elementary school. The resulting portrait -- detailed, human, and truly thought-provoking -- is marked by the same narrative gifts and expertise that made Not Much Just Chillin' so illuminating. The school, once deemed a failure, is now held up as an example of reform done right. Perlstein explores the rewards and costs of that transformation, through the experiences of the people who lived it. Nine-year-olds meditate to activate their brains before exams and kindergartners write paragraphs. Teachers attempt to address diverse needs at the same time they are expected to follow daily scripts, and feel compelled to focus on topics that will be tested at the expense of those that won't. The principal attempts to keep it all together, in the face of immense challenges. Perlstein provides the first detailed view of how new education policies are modified by human realities. Tested will be talked about, thought about, written about -- and will almost certainly play an important role in the national debate as the federal education law come up for renewal.
Author: Robert Dalling
Release Date: 2006-03
The Story of Us Humans explains human nature and human history, including the origins of our species, emotions, behavior, morals, and society. It explains what we are, how we got here, and where we are today by describing the origin, history, and current ways of our neighborhoods, religion, government, science, technology, and business. Written in plain language, it explains what astronomy, physics, geology, biology, chemistry, anthropology, history, religion, social science, and political science tell us about ourselves. Most everyone feels that human success is measured in terms of healthy and happy children and communities. Human thoughts and actions involve little besides love and children, spouse and family, community and justice because we are parenting mammals and social primates. Each of us simply wants to laugh and joke with our family and friends, pursue life, raise children and strive to be a valued and contributing member of our community. We have made incredible progress building civilization in just a few hundred generations using nothing except our animal minds. Have you wondered: What are the laws of nature and how many laws are there? How did molecular life begin and then evolve into worms fish, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, primates, and humans? What are the differences between these animals? How did we get from the Big Bang to bacteria and on to Christianity, democracy, and globalization? What is life like for gatherer-hunters? When did we first become farmers and first build cities, and what was life like at those times? What was life like in Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Athens, 13th-century Cahokia, Medieval China and Europe, 19th-Century New England, Yoruban villages, and in the U.S. during the 1920s? What was the Industrial Revolution and how has it changed our lives? What are the Hindu, Muslim, Confucian, Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, and Humanist religions and world views? How have our wages, infant mortality rates, lifespans, crime rates, and poverty and inequality rates varied through the ages? What are the biggest economic and social secrets in the U.S. today? What are some meaningful goals and priorities for our civilization and how can we measure the success of our attempts to reach those goals? Includes questions, index, bibliography, and 1,200 internet links taking you to images, videos, and discussed documents.