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The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit

by
Edition:
Revised
ISBN13:

9780691121864

ISBN10:
0691121869
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
8/1/2005
Publisher(s):
Princeton Univ Pr

Summary

Once America's "arsenal of democracy," Detroit over the last fifty years has become the symbol of the American urban crisis. In this reappraisal of racial and economic inequality in modern America, Thomas Sugrue explains how Detroit and many other once prosperous industrial cities have become the sites of persistent racialized poverty. He challenges the conventional wisdom that urban decline is the product of the social programs and racial fissures of the 1960s. Probing beneath the veneer of 1950s prosperity and social consensus, Sugrue traces the rise of a new ghetto, solidified by changes in the urban economy and labor market and by racial and class segregation. In this provocative revision of postwar American history, Sugrue finds cities already fiercely divided by race and devastated by the exodus of industries. He focuses on urban neighborhoods, where white working-class homeowners mobilized to prevent integration as blacks tried to move out of the crumbling and overcrowded inner city. Weaving together the history of workplaces, unions, civil rights groups, political organizations, and real estate agencies, Sugrue finds the roots of today's urban poverty in a hidden history of racial violence, discrimination, and deindustrialization that reshaped the American urban landscape after World War II. In a new preface, Sugrue discusses the ongoing legacies of the postwar transformation of urban America and engages recent scholars who have joined in the reassessment of postwar urban, political, social, and African American history.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
ix
List of Tables
xiii
Preface to the Princeton Classic Edition xv
Acknowledgments xxxiii
Introduction 3(12)
PART ONE: ARSENAL
15(74)
``Arsenal of Democracy''
17(16)
``Detroit's Time Bomb'': Race and Housing in the 1940s
33(24)
``The Coffin of Peace'': The Containment of Public Housing
57(32)
PART TWO: RUST
89(90)
``The Meanest and the Dirtiest Jobs'': The Structures of Employment Discrimination
91(34)
``The Damning Mark of False Prosperities'': The Deindustrialization of Detroit
125(28)
``Forget about Your Inalienable Right to Work'': Responses to Industrial Decline and Discrimination
153(26)
PART THREE: FIRE
179(80)
Class, Status, and Residence: The Changing Geography of Black Detroit
181(28)
``Homeowners' Rights'': White Resistance and the Rise of Antiliberalism
209(22)
``United Communities Are Impregnable'': Violence and the Color Line
231(28)
Conclusion. Crisis: Detroit and the Fate of Postindustrial America
259(20)
Appendixes
A. Index of Dissimilarity, Blacks and Whites in Major American Cities, 1940--1990
273(2)
B. African American Occupational Structure in Detroit, 1940--1970
275(4)
List of Abbreviations in the Notes 279(2)
Notes 281(84)
Index 365


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