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Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C. [Paperback]

by Jr., Howard Gillette
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 9, 2006 0812219589 978-0812219586

As the only American city under direct congressional control, Washington has served historically as a testing ground for federal policy initiatives and social experiments—with decidedly mixed results. Well-intentioned efforts to introduce measures of social justice for the district's largely black population have failed. Yet federal plans and federal money have successfully created a large federal presence—a triumph, argues Howard Gillette, of beauty over justice. In a new afterword, Gillette addresses the recent revitalization and the aftereffects of an urban sports arena.

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Between Justice and Beauty: Race, Planning, and the Failure of Urban Policy in Washington, D.C. + Alley Life in Washington: Family, Community, Religion, and Folklife in the City, 1850-1970 (Blacks in the New World)
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Editorial Reviews


"A superb piece of urban and planning history."—American Historical Review

"Sets a new standard for effectively placing planning issues in their larger social and political context."—Planning Perspectives

"Howard Gillette is our leading expert on the politics of planning for Washington, DC. . . . Between Justice and Beauty is the best introduction to the political choices that have shaped our national city."—American Planning Association Journal

"Between Justice and Beauty is written for readers who do not necessarily have a deep interest in Washington, although the wealth of detailed historical information contained in its pages will provide plenty for a student of the city to digest. The historical narrative provides insight into the development of the city and could be used as a case study text in a graduate seminar in urban planning or geography."—Urban Geography

"Gillette's clear focus on government gives thematic coherence to his insightful and engaging history, highlighting matters of physical development such as slum clearance, public housing construction, urban renewal, commercial development, transportation, and the planning of the monumental core."—Journal of Urban History

From the Publisher

Howard Gillette, Jr. is Professor of History at Rutgers University and the author of Camden After the Fall: Decline and Renewal in a Post-Industrial City, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press (May 9, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812219589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812219586
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #860,555 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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This book offers a well researched history of how race and power influenced key public policy decisions in the nation's capital. The interplay between democracy and the lack of self determination form the backdrop for most of the book. The book also explains how racism effected land use planning and segregated economic development from less affluent parts of the city which still impacts the quality of life within the eastern section of the city.
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Between Justice & Beauty: Race, Planning, And The Failure Of Urban Policy In Washington, D.C. by Howard Gillette Jr. (Professor Of History Rutgers University) examines how, as the only American city directly under congressional control, Washington D.C. has historically been used to test federal policy initiatives and social experiments. Some results have been positive; many have not, and the best of intentions striving to bring social justice to the largely black populace have failed. A large federal presence has been created, but to what ends? Gillette claims that this bloated and all-too-often ineffective federal presence is a triumph of beauty of justice, and searches for a more effective means to bring help to the city dwellers who need revitalization the most. A scholarly, well-researched treatise, sparsely illustrated with black-and-white photographs, Between Justice & Beauty attacks longstanding social problems head-on in search of solutions.
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