Blueprint for disaster : the unraveling of Chicago public housing /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Hunt, D. Bradford, 1968-
Imprint:Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2009.
Description:x, 380 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm.
Series:Historical studies of urban America
Subject:Chicago Housing Authority -- History -- 20th century.
Chicago Housing Authority.
Public housing -- Illinois -- Chicago -- History -- 20th century.
Public housing.
Illinois -- Chicago.
Format: Print Book
Local Note:University of Chicago Library's copy 3 is cloth and has original dust jacket.
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Hidden Bibliographic Details
ISBN:9780226360850 (cloth : alk. paper)
0226360857 (cloth : alk. paper)
Notes:Includes bibliographical references (p. [303]-354) and index.
Review by Choice Review

Of the many things for which Chicago is known, one of the most notorious is the mismanagement, crime, and social chaos to which its public housing succumbed in the last third of the 20th century. Projects like Robert Taylor Homes became symbols of all that could go wrong with the New Deal effort to provide decent, affordable housing for low-income families. Hunt (social science, Roosevelt Univ.) undertakes a "close examination of policies and decisions" within and outside the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) that led to this regrettable state of affairs. His richly detailed history ranges across now-common themes: slum clearance versus building on vacant land, integration versus segregation, architectural design versus cost containment, tenant mixing versus serving the poor, CHA management versus tenant organizing, and the arduous negotiation of federal policies, city council politics, and legal mandates. Read in conjunction with Nicholas Dagan Bloom's Public Housing That Worked (CH, Nov'08, 1592) that documents New York City's less politicized and better managed housing authority, Blueprint for Disaster provides insights into the difficulties of managing "public" housing in a country where the private housing market dominates and racial sensitivities linger. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readership levels. R. A. Beauregard Columbia University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review